AAA warns travelers of govt. shutdown impact - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

AAA warns travelers of govt. shutdown impact

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AAA Mid-Atlantic said today if the bill or a continuing resolution isn't passed by tomorrow, travelers could expect some impact on travel and recreation services managed by the federal government.

For example:

  • Air traffic controllers are considered essential employees, so air travelers should not expect delays related to the shutdown.
  • No changes will be made to federal government operations that support national security, such as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) aviation operations (e.g. passenger screening) and border patrol agents.
  • Passport processing centers and all activities supporting passport processing would be suspended according to an August Congressional Research Service Report, "Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects."  During the last government shutdown in 1996 approximately 20,000-30,000 applications by foreigners for visas reportedly went unprocessed each day; 200,000 U.S. applications for passports reportedly went unprocessed; and U.S. tourist industries and airlines reportedly sustained millions of dollars in lost revenue.
  • National parks, such as Shenandoah National Park which is ever so popular from the end of September to the end of October would close to the public.  Any overnight guests would be notified and provided time to relocate outside National parks.
  • If planning a trip to the Smithsonian in DC, travelers will need to be prepared for an entire shutdown of the Smithsonian Museums, Monuments and The National Zoo. 

AAA Mid-Atlantic says its hopeful that an agreement can be reached so that travelers looking forward to visiting national parks, monuments and museums "are not disappointed."

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