No end in sight for FAA shutdown

By JOAN LOWY | July 26, 2011 | 3:15 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prospects appear grim for quickly ending the legislative dispute that has partially shut down the Federal Aviation Administration, with neither side signaling willingness to compromise.

The FAA's operating authority expired last week. Dozens of airport construction projects nationwide have been put on hold and thousands of federal employees are out of work.

Air traffic controllers have continued to work, as well as FAA employees who inspect the safety of planes and test pilots. Transportation officials say safety won't be compromised. But it's unclear how long the FAA can continue day-to-day operations before travelers begin to feel the effects of the shutdown.

Florida Republican Rep. John Mica, who is chairman of the House Transportation Committee, says there have been no negotiations between the House and Senate to resolve the dispute.