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Higgins pushes back on efforts to reduce pilot training requirements


Fri, Nov 3rd 2017 08:00 am
Congressman Brian Higgins took to the Floor of the House of Representatives to object to what he deemed ongoing efforts to undermine flight safety provisions achieved through the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010. The fate of the rules are being debated within the context of Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, set to expire in March 2018.
Higgins, who has joined the families of Flight 3407 as a consistent voice in the fight for flight safety over the past eight years, provided the following remarks on the House Floor:
"Mr. speaker: No family or community should have to re-live the devastating loss we felt on Feb. 12, 2009 - the day Continental Flight 3407 crashed in Western New York killing all aboard and one on the ground.
"Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Flight 3407 families and a bipartisan collection of members of Congress, new flight safety standards have saved other families from similar pain, achieving seven years of no commercial airline fatalities.
"Yet some, including a new nominee to the National Transportation Safety Board, are questioning the need for these hard-fought, common-sense flight safety and training standards.
"You have a right to know which airline is flying your plane. You have a right to know that your pilot is well-rested. You have a right know that the pilot that is adequately trained to handle any challenges that might occur in-flight.
"For these rights and for enhanced safety, you can thank 3407 families for their work reaching these standards and you can join me in fighting to make sure we keep them."
The families of Flight 3407 also issued a statement blasting regional airlines' proposal to reduce pilot hiring requirements and expressing gratitude to Sen. Duckworth and others fighting to preserve flight training requirements implemented in 2010.
During a nomination hearing for the vice chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, Bruce Landsberg was critical of the enhanced pilot training requirements implemented following the crash of Flight 3407. 

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