Detroit Metro Airport air traffic controller warns of shutdown’s impact on safety

Posted at 2:57 PM, Jan 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-17 14:57:04-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — For the past 11 years, Mike Redies has worked as an air traffic controller at Detroit Metro Airport. After leaving a career as a commercial pilot, Redies says he’s enjoyed making a difference and keeping the skies safe.

He and nearly 40 other employees working in the air traffic tower at Detroit Metro Airport have been without a paycheck, as a result of the federal government shutdown.

“This needs to end as soon as possible, and everyone has a point where they consider their options,” says Redies.

He tells us many of his co-workers have families to support, and feel the stress of the situation.

“They continue to show up to work, but can not remain in the current situation forever. When our leaders say this can last weeks or months, that’s not fair to workers and passengers,” says Redies.

Looking ahead, he plans to continue working but insists funding is crucial to maintaining a safe environment in the skies. In the meantime, he says support from the community has helped lift spirits.

“An airline brought us pizza the other day and we really appreciate all the support from them and others,” says Redies.