Buffalo NY, August 24, 2023 – The Families of Flight 3407 express their support for the “Notice of Intent” issued today by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to initiate a rulemaking aimed at closing the so-called “Charter Loophole”. This action comes as a response to the recent request by SkyWest Airlines to operate a portion of its fleet as SkyWest Charter, a move that could potentially lead to the employment of pilots with significantly less experience than what is currently required for commercial aviation.
The Family Group views the DOT/ FAA consideration of a rule change to close the charter loophole as upholding Congressional intent of the Airline Safety and FAA Reauthorization Extension Act of 2010 whose objective was to protect ALL passengers flying on commercial scheduled flights. This legislation has established the highest standard for aviation safety and has significantly contributed to the safest period in US commercial aviation history.
“We applaud the DOT and FAA’s decision to address this critical issue head-on,” stated Scott Maurer of Palmetto, Florida, who lost his 30-year-old daughter Lorin in the Flight 3407 crash. “This is the right step to address the current regulation and eliminate the loophole. Allowing airlines to operate passenger routes as charters with less experienced pilots and lower safety requirements puts air travel at risk. The recent rise in near-miss incidents underscores the importance of pilot skill and experience in preventing potential disasters.”
The Families of Flight 3407 commend the DOT/ FAA for this action and their commitment to safety.