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Reps. Higgins, Collins, Slaughter & Reed join Flight 3407 families in meeting with top House transportation leaders

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Wed, Feb 1st 2017 10:55 pm

Advocates stress importance of maintaining & continuing progress on flight safety

Congressmembers Brian Higgins (NY-26), Chris Collins (NY-27), Louise Slaughter (NY-25) and Tom Reed (NY-23) joined Flight 3407 families in a roundtable discussion with top House of Representatives transportation leaders to emphasize the importance of protecting the hard-fought aviation safety improvements achieved in recent years. Delegation members helped to coordinate the meeting with the chairman and ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure's Aviation Subcommittee.

"Time and time again, these families have come to Washington, D.C., with a focused message and goal of protecting other families from their incredible heartbreak," Higgins said. "Their vigilance drove meaningful change resulting in safer skies for all Americans. Today's meeting was aimed at sharing the work it has taken to get to where we are today, and reiterating the importance of preserving the new safety measures as we prepare for the next FAA reauthorization."

"The crash of Flight 3407 forever changed our community," Collins said. "Despite the terrible loss of their loved ones, the families of the victims of Flight 3407 have created a positive impact across the country by demanding better safety regulations to benefit all Americans. Nearly eight years after the crash, I am honored to stand with the families in their relentless efforts to obtain needed aviation safety measures, and am hopeful we can protect our skies."

"Eight years have passed since one of the worst plane accidents in recent U.S. history devastated so many across Western New York," Slaughter said. "The strength and courage of Flight 3407 families has been immeasurable. Through unspeakable tragedy, they have pushed Congress and the FAA to learn from their loss and make reforms that better protect travelers across the country. Our skies are safer today because of their work."

Reed said, "We care about the safety of both airline passengers and employees. We support the common sense protections that keep everyone safe and help prevent the tragedies like that of flight 3407. We look forward to the discussions with our colleagues to ensure these safety measures stay intact."

"We cannot thank the Western New York House delegation enough for its steadfast support of our cause over the past eight years," stated John Kausner of Clarence Center, who lost his 24-year-old daughter Ellyce. "As we gear up for another FAA reauthorization process, we are totally dedicated to preserving the hard-fought safety gains that have been made, and seeing the electronic pilot records database finally fully implemented. We appreciate Reps. Collins, Higgins, Reed and Slaughter for making today's meeting possible, and once again, look forward to their continued support."

Feb. 12 will mark the 8th anniversary of the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 in Clarence. Following the 2009 tragedy, the families who lost loved ones as a result of the crash became vocal advocates in the fight for flight safety reform and, working with the Western New York delegation, won the passage of a number of measures toward the goal of providing "one level of safety" for the flying public. As a result, it's been seven years without a fatal regional airline crash.

The Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010 included: pilot fatigue rules with rest time requirements; pilot qualification rules, including a requirement for co-pilots to attain 1,500 hours of flight time experience; and transparency for ticket purchasers requiring full disclosure of the air carrier operating flights. The current FAA reauthorization will expire at the end of September.

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