DALLAS - The partial government shutdown is now in its third week, and one of the groups working without pay are air traffic controllers.
DFW air traffic controller Terry Donaldson says he has been through government shutdowns before.
"This is a high pressure environment to work in already, we work in one of the busiest airspaces in the country. We're one of the busiest airports in the world," He said. "This one just feels different."
As a union representative for the D-10 National Air Traffic Controllers Association, Donaldson speaks for nearly 130 DFW area controllers who are considered essential employees, meaning they are required to go to work without the guarantee of payment.
"We're your friends and neighbors, we're being told to come to work, we don't know when we are going to be paid,” he said. “Our professionals remain on the job, they continue to come to work, we still hold our safety as the highest priority"
Even before the government shutdown Donaldson says moral was low.
"We're at a 30-year low in staffing we've already been working overtime, 6 days a week for years on end,” said Donaldson. “It's extremely frustrating! We don't take sides; we're interested in seeing the government reopen.”
Donaldson says he hopes congress and the president will take solving the shutdown as seriously as air traffic controllers take doing their jobs.