The US aviation industry welcomed news that Congress and the White House have struck an agreement to reopen the government for three weeks, while expressing disappointment that the temporary truce will not be enough to provide stability to government workers who have gone over a month without receiving their paychecks.

The deal struck between President Donald Trump and Congressional leaders Jan. 25 will pave the way for Congress to pass a continuing resolution that will give the two sides three additional weeks to negotiate over border security and the President’s request for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall on the US-Mexico border.

Trump said that if he does not receive a satisfactory commitment from Democrats to fund his proposed border wall by Feb. 15, he will either shut the government down again or use the powers afforded to him “under the laws and the constitution of the US to address this emergency.”

Trump, in a press conference at the White House Rose Garden, promised that government workers would swiftly be awarded backpay, saying that “I will make sure that all employees receive their back pay very quickly or as soon as possible.”

The announcement came after the FAA on Jan. 25 ordered a ground delay for flights destined for New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) because of an uptick in air traffic controllers calling in sick at the agency’s Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) in Leesburg, Virginia, which in turn led to delays of 1:26 hrs. for some flights arriving into the airport.

Airlines for America (A4A) CEO Nicholas Calio said in a statement “[the] measure will allow the federal employees who protect and maintain our nation’s aviation system to be paid for the critical work they do,” adding that the lobbying group urges lawmakers and the White House to “continue working together to identify a solution that will keep the government open beyond Feb. 15.”

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said in a statement the group was “grateful to Congress and the President for working together to temporarily end the government shutdown,” adding that ALPA urges “all parties to find a bipartisan solution that will provide stable, long-term funding so that these workers, and our country, are never in this situation again.”

The Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) welcomed the announcement but warned that without a final conclusion to the shutdown, passengers “will continue to experience air travel delays and disruptions across the United States.”

“While we welcome news that the President and congressional leaders have agreed to temporarily reopen the government, ACI-NA strongly urges them to reach a long-term deal that ensures the dedicated federal workers who make our air transportation system run are paid so that our air transportation system is restored to its full capability,” ACI-NA president Kevin Burke said in a statement.

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Washington), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s subcommittee on Aviation, took a more critical tone, writing of Trump’s announcement on Twitter that, “every word is face-saving but does not change the fact that this is a big back down. Why 3 weeks to get to where we are now?”

Those sentiments were echoed by the head of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the largest union that represents TSA officers.

“While reopening the government is long overdue, I will not celebrate a temporary reprieve to a politically motivated crisis that has left many federal employees in anguish over how to pay their bills, feed their families, and keep a roof over their heads,” AFGE national president J. David Cox said. “Over the next three weeks, Congress must pass full-year appropriations for all government agencies as well legislation to make all affected federal employees whole. We are also urging Congress to act to prevent the use of shutdowns from ever occurring again.”

Ben Goldstein, Ben.Goldstein@aviationweek.com