Congressman Brian Higgins spoke on the House Floor Tuesday to honor the contributions of the families of Flight 3407 in enacting landmark safety reforms in the wake of the tragic crash of Continental Flight 3407 in Western New York on Feb. 12, 2009.
The text of Higgins' remarks is below:
"Five years ago tomorrow, Continental Flight 3407 crashed in Western New York. This was a tragedy that took so many good people far too soon, and changed a community forever.
"The cause of the crash was found to be pilot and crew error, with fatigue being a contributing factor.
"In an inspiring act of love, the families of those lost formed as impressive an advocacy effort as I have ever seen. Drawing strength and purpose from their loss, they successfully convinced Congress and the FAA to enact landmark aviation safety reforms. Their call for "one level of safety" has become a rallying cry for all of those who want to make sure that that this kind of preventable tragedy is not visited upon other families and other communities.
"Mr. Speaker, today I and all of Western New York stand in unity with the families of Flight 3407. We feel their loss and express our sympathy to them. But we also stand in awe of their commitment and tireless effort to work on behalf of travelers everywhere. The entire American travelling public owes a debt of gratitude to these families who turned tragedy into purpose."
Higgins, and the entire Western New York congressional delegation, has fought along with the families of Flight 3407 since 2009 to secure passage of the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, and ensure the release and enactment of final rules on pilot qualifications and flight and duty times.