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Airport workers among those affected by shutdown

Cherry Capital Airport (upnorthlive.com photo)

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- As the shutdown stretches on, federal employees at airports like TSA workers, air traffic controllers and technicians continue to work without pay.

That includes dozens of employees at Cherry Capital Airport.

Kevin Klein, the Director for Cherry Capital Airport, says their affected employees are still showing up for work even though they aren't getting paychecks right now, but there are concerns about what could happen if the shutdown carries on long enough.

Despite the shutdown many travelers say airport security lines around the country aren't that bad right now.

"The workers were in a really good mood this morning. They're usually not very polite, they usually don't talk very much to you so everyone was very talkative got you through there as best as they could," said Christy Bellamy, who traveled from Phoenix to Traverse City.

"They seemed to be fully staffed. The line moved quite quickly," said Dianne Ureel, who traveled from Seattle to Traverse City.

Between 60 and 70 staff members are still showing up to work at Cherry Capital Airport, unsure of when they'll get paid next in an effort to keep things running well.

"We have not seen really any adjustment to schedules even equipment maintenance. That typical routine maintenance on TSA equipment, that's happening with no problem so things are going forward, we have not seen any lengthy lines here at the airport," said Klein.

But Klein says that if the shutdown continues much longer, he worries about affected employees leaving to find other jobs.

"The ability for these workers to continue to be employed and not having to seek other professions to have an income and so that is a concern down the line that we have as an airport," said Klein.

Travelers like Dianne Ureel hope there will be a solution soon.

"I never had to live quite paycheck to paycheck but if I couldn't feed my children I'd be really concerned so it's time to to bring this to an end for the safety of all Americans," said Ureel.

Klein says another long term concern if the shutdown drags on is a delay for certain airport projects that need approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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