Aviation Safety Legislation

The Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010 (PL 111-216) was signed into law on August 1, 2010.  For a summary of the provisions included in this new law, please click here.

Who's Flying Your Plane?

Do you know who is really flying your plane? For more information on our campaign to raise awareness of the code-share practices exhibited by US airlines, click here

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On 9th Anniversary of Fatal Crash, Flight 3407 Families Call on Administration and Congress to Stand Firm on Pilot Experience Requirements for Regional Airlines PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 12 February 2018 10:12

In commemoration of today being the 9th anniversary of the tragic regional airline crash that took the lives of their loved ones, the 'Families of Continental Flight 3407' issued the following statement:

3,287 days. 9 years. No more smiles. No more laughs. No more hugs. Missed holidays, family gatherings, vacations, weddings, and graduations. Lots of pictures and memories. Visits to the cemetery. And plenty of tears.

The crash of Continental Flight 3407, operated by Colgan Air, on that snowy Thursday night outside of Buffalo 9 years ago today left a gaping hole in our families, our communities, our nation, and the world. And it never should have been allowed to happen.

But those same 9 years, those same 3,287 days, also represent the longest period in our nation’s history without a fatal commercial crash. A tribute to our loved ones, and a testament to the dedication of so many in our group. We have shown that it is possible for a small group of concerned citizens to make a difference and effect change in the direction of our government and our nation.

We are so thankful for all those who have been at our side along the way to make this all possible. So many of our elected officials and their staffers in Washington. The dedicated employees of the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation, and the National Transportation Safety Board. The professional pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and airline officials. And the friendship and impassioned advocacy of Sully Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles, the ultimate example of the qualities that every cockpit crew should strive to achieve.

For the unspeakable pain that we all still feel, we also take great solace and reassurance that the deaths of our loved ones were not in vain. That our nation’s regional airlines have been challenged and held accountable to raise their level of commitment to safety, thanks to new safety regulations in the areas of first officer qualifications, pilot fatigue, training, and airline safety management systems. These stricter requirements have addressed so many of the glaring safety gaps that allowed this needless tragedy to occur.

However, there is still work to be done. We are counting on FAA, DOT, and OMB to fully implement an electronic pilot records database and to finalize a rulemaking that will enhance Pilot Professional Development. When completed, these undertakings will allow us to make even further progress towards our goal of putting the best pilots in the cockpit, and setting them up for success.

The most haunting memory for us from this tragedy will always be what happened when the auto-pilot disengaged. With our loved ones in the back of the plane, split-second decisions needed to be made. The stick shaker. The stick pusher. The landing gear. Every pilot that we have ever talked to says a that situation like this brings you back to your earliest days of flying, to the fundamental stick-and-rudder flying skills that you develop as you learn to handle your plane and gain a feel for properly recognizing and recovering from a stall.

That is why we feel so strongly about the regional airlines and their lobbyists’ continued efforts to water down the increased experience requirements that were unanimously mandated by Congress and put in place by FAA as part of its First Officer Qualifications rule. Of course, they must publicly say that they support the rule. How could you not? It has been a cornerstone of these safety advances that have led to the safest period in our nation’s history. But understand that every time they refer to ‘alternative pathways’, that is really code for less experience. Less stick time. And even more reliance on technology. The exact formula that failed those on Flight 3407. Make no mistake about it, this backroom maneuvering for these 'alternative pathways' represents an attempt to weaken what we have fought so hard for, and what our loved ones paid the ultimate price for.

So to President Trump, Secretary Chao, Acting Administrator Elwell, and to every member of Congress, our message is simple. Occurring less than one month apart, US Airways Flight 1549 and Continental Connection Flight 3407 provide the starkest contrast of the best and worst of our airline industry. One will be forever remembered and memorialized by our nation, the other one will go down as a horrible tragedy that has already been forgotten by so many. But taken together they send an unmistakable message; that experience - and more, not less of it - does matter. So as you consider this pressure from the regional airlines and their lobbyists, we call on you to put the safety of the American flying public first and leave the rule in place as is. And on this day - February 12th, 2018 - we sadly offer you 3,287 reasons why that is the right thing to do.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 February 2018 10:21
Welcome to the Families of Continental Flight 3407 Webpage PDF Print E-mail

Welcome to the website created and maintained by the family members of the victims of Flight 3407. Continental Flight 3407 departed Newark airport on Thursday, February 12 en route to Buffalo, New York. Approximately 5 miles from the airport, the airplane began experiencing problems and tragically crashed into the Clarence Center neighborhood just outside of Buffalo. 45 passengers, 4 crew members, 1 off-duty pilot, and 1 person on the ground perished in this horrible accident.


Sully Supports Flight 3407 Families Safety Efforts PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 12 February 2015 17:19

Captain "Sully" Sullenberger stands by the Families of Continental Flight 3407 in their pursuit for continued improvement to airline safety.  Read more at:


Office of Inspector General for the Department of Transportation Reports PDF Print E-mail

The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Transportation, responsible for reviewing the actions of the FAA, has recently issued two reports related to the FAA's progress on implementing new safety standards in the wake of the Continental flight 3407 crash.  The full text of each report can be found by accessing the links below:

FAA and Industry Are Advancing the Airline Safety Act, but Challenges Remain To Achieve Its Full Measure

Growth of Domestic Airline Code Sharing Warrants Increased Attention

PL 111-216 Has Been Signed Into Law PDF Print E-mail

On August 1, 2010, President Obama signed PL 111-216, The Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, into law.  The passage of this law marked the culmination of over 15 months of tireless effort by the Families of Continental Flight 3407 and it includes many safety provisions that we are in support of.

PL 111-216 outlines numerous requirements for improving the safety of the American flying public.  The key sections of the bill are summarized below and the full text of the bill can be found here:

  • Section 202 - Requires the Secretary of Transportation to annually report to the Transportation and Infrastructure/Commerce Committees on the status of all NTSB safety recommendations related to Part 121 air carrier operations.
  • Section 203 - Requires FAA Administrator to establish an electronic database of FAA records, air carrier records, and National Driver Register records of all pilots and prospective pilots, and requires air carriers to access and evaluate these records before hiring any pilots.
  • Section 204: Requires FAA Administrator to establish a task force to review specific safety and training areas, with annual reports to T&I/Commerce Committees. Focuses on identifying best practices and tracking the implementation of these best practices.
  • Section 205: Requires DOT Inspector General to conduct a review of how the FAA is organized to oversee Part 121 carriers, and the effectiveness of this oversight, particularly in the level of oversight provided to major versus regional carriers. Requires the IG to report to the Administrator upon completion.
  • Section 206: Requires FAA Administrator to convene an Aviation Rulemaking Committee to make recommendations focused on the areas of mentoring, professional development, and leadership, and then conduct a rulemaking based on these findings.
  • Section 207: Requires FAA Administrator to conduct a study of industry best practices with regard to pilot pairing, crew resource management techniques, and pilot commuting. The Administrator shall then submit to T&I/Commerce Committees a report on the findings of this study.
  • Section 208: Requires FAA Administrator to conduct rulemakings that require all part 121 air carriers to provide stall and upset recognition and recovery training, as well as to implement remedial training programs. Also forms a multidisciplinary panel to report on stick pusher and weather event training.
  • Section 209: Gives FAA a timeline to complete its current rulemaking on crewmember training, and forms a multipdisciplinary panel to examine a number of issues related to various aspects of pilot training - ground school, recurrent training, assessing proficiency, etc. - and then report to Congress.
  • Section 210: Requires all ticket agents, air carriers, and any other persons selling plane tickets to disclose verbally or in writing the name of the carrier actually operating each segment of a flight, and requires internet ticket sites to disclose this information in the initial display after a search.
  • Section 211: Requires FAA Administrator to conduct on-site random inspections at a minimum of a yearly basis at all regional airlines.
  • Section 212: Requires FAA Administrator to conduct rulemaking establishing new flight and duty time regulations, requires all part 121 carriers to submit a Fatigue Risk Management Plan for Administrator approval, and directs a study on commuting, with findings to be incorporated into fatigue rulemaking.
  • Section 213: Requires FAA Administrator to report to T&I/Commerce Committees on a carrier-by-carrier basis, detailing which carriers are utilizing FOQA, LOSA, ASAP, and AQP, and also examine how the data derived from such programs is being shared across the industry to ensure maximum safety benefit.
  • Section 214: Requires FAA Administrator to develop a plan to facilitate the implementation of ASAP and FOQA at all part 121 carriers.
  • Section 215: Requires FAA Administrator to conduct a rulemaking to require all part 121 carriers to implement Safety Management Systems.
  • Section 216: Requires FAA Administrator to conduct a rulemaking that changes screening and qualification requirements for all Part 121 pilots, requiring ATP license/appropriate multi-engine experience. Includes default provision that ATP requirement is mandatory within 3 years.
  • Section 217: Requires FAA Administrator to conduct a rulemaking that modifies the requirements to earn an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) license. Focuses on Flight Hours (including in difficult operational conditions) and additional qualitative elements.