Representatives Brian Higgins, Kathy Hochul, Louise Slaughter and Tom Reed remained steadfast in their united fight for new flight safety rules following the crash of Flight 3407 in 2009. Today the Western New York Congressmembers are calling on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to act with urgency and maintain nothing but the strongest standards as the Administration works to advance new rules for pilot training.
“We must not let people’s lives fall victim to industry pressure,” said Congressman Higgins. "Safety and experience go hand-in-hand. Well-trained pilots are most capable of handling emergency situations and making split-second, life saving decisions. Settling for less costs lives. The flying public and their families deserve better.”
“It is critical that we implement these new flight safety rules to ensure one true level of safety for the flying public,” said Rep. Hochul. “The families of the victims of Flight 3407 have suffered too much and worked too hard to have safety reforms fall by the wayside due to pressure from special interest groups. The Administration must fully implement increased flight hour requirements to ensure no one ever again experiences a tragedy like the one that took place in the heart of my district.”
“In the wake of the tragedy of flight 3407 in 2009, we worked closely with the families of the victims to push for better FAA regulations and oversight,” said Slaughter. “It is disheartening that nearly four years later, the FAA has failed to adequately implement appropriate reforms. I stand steadfast with my colleagues and the families of the victims in calling for immediate action by the FAA.”
Congressman Reed added, “This process has been dragging on too long already. The FAA cannot backtrack on the pilot training issue and needs to implement the safety requirements without further delay.”
In a letter to FAA Administrator Huerta the Western New York Delegation wrote, “As Members of Congress who have fought for a fair and complete implementation of this law on behalf of our constituents, the Families of Continental Flight 3407, we remain vigilant to your agency’s actions and remain wary of the slow pace of the rulemaking process.”
Recent media reports indicate the aviation industry is aggressively lobbying the FAA to water down pilot training requirements.The Western New York Delegation also wrote to the FAA and the U.S. Department of Transportation in April asking the federal agencies for a continued commitment to strong pilot training rules and one level of aviation safety among all carriers.
Reps. Higgins, Hochul, Slaughter and Reed are insisting, “In the strongest possible terms, we urge you to uphold the integrity of the law and resist attempts to compromise the safety of the flying public.”
In August of 2010 the President signed into law the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, which, among other things, required the Federal Aviation Administration to update flight-and-duty time rules and set minimum rest requirements for pilots.