As regional airlines begin push to ease flight time requirements, Congress members continue fight to put public safety first
Congress members Brian Higgins (D-NY-26), Chris Collins (R-NY-27), Louise Slaughter (D-NY-25), and Tom Reed (R-NY-23) released the following joint statement in response to the news regional airlines are continuing the fight to reduce existing pilot training requirements, including elimination of the 1,500-hour flight time standard:
"Following the crash of Flight 3407 in our community, we began the long, arduous and necessary road to flight safety improvements eventually achieved through the Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010. Valuable lessons learned after the tragedy provided insight into the changes needed and resulted in an improved level of safety for the flying public. We will not stand idle as regional airlines attempt to undermine or dismantle the progress we've made, nor will we compromise on safety."
This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation office of inspector general announced plans to audit regional airlines.
The crash of Continental Flight 3407, operated by regional carrier Colgan Air, occurred in Western New York on Feb. 12, 2009.
Members of Western New York's federal delegation, along with the families of Flight 3407, worked tirelessly to include reforms related to pilot fatigue rules, training requirements and consumer transparency toward the goal of "one level of safety" in the last reauthorization bill.
FAA reauthorization, set to expire in March 2016, is currently under debate in Congress.
Earlier this year, members of the Western New York delegation stood in Washington, D.C., with Flight 3407 families in strong and united opposition to efforts that roll back flight safety rules in the FAA reauthorization bill.