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.

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Presidential Election Looms Large for Flight 3407 Families as FAA and DOT Enter Critical Twelve Month Rulemaking Stretch PDF Print E-mail

Family Group Challenges Both Candidates to Stand Up for Safety as Industry Pours Over $35 Million into Lobbying, Campaign Contributions

Buffalo, New York- October 30, 2012 – With the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Transportation scheduled to issue two critical new safety regulations affecting pilot training and entry level pilot hiring qualifications in the next twelve months, the 'Families of Continental (now United) Flight 3407' called on President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to achieve a true 'One Level of Safety' among the nation's major and regional airlines if elected. Highlighting the $35 million spent by the airline industry on lobbying in this two year election cycle, with $3 million of that representing campaign contributions (www.opensecrets.org), the family group drew a sharp contrast between the resources available to safety advocates and the airlines themselves.

Flight 3407 Families Applaud Bipartisan House Letter Calling on FAA to Speed Up Pilot Training Rule PDF Print E-mail

As Congress Hits Recess, Family Group Reminds White House, DOT, FAA That October 2013 is Too Late

Buffalo, New York- August 2, 2012 – As Congress readies for its August recess, the 'Families of Continental (now United) Flight 3407' praised a joint House letter signed by 46 representatives to acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta calling on FAA to move up its target date for introducing a crucial final rule that would significantly modernize the curriculum for airlines' crewmember training programs. Recognizing that the Airline Safety Act of 2010 mandated that this rule be completed in October 2011, the letter, which was led by Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY-27) and Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH-2), labeled the proposed target date of October 2013 'unacceptable', and echoed the family group's call to quickly complete the critical safety initiative in the interest of achieving a true 'One Level of Safety' for our nation's regional airlines.

On Two Year Anniversary of Historic Regional Airline Safety Legislation, Flight 3407 Families Continue to Push for 'One Level of Safety' PDF Print E-mail

Provisions on Pilot Fatigue, Training, Qualifications, Airline Safety Programs, and Training Record Database in the Spotlight

Buffalo, New York- August 1, 2012 – Two years to the day that President Obama signed the 'Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010' into law, after being unanimously passed by both Houses of Congress, the Families of Continental (now United) Flight 3407 issued the following statement recognizing both what has been already accomplished and also what key milestones still lie ahead. They called on the President, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, and acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to honor the memory of their loved ones lost, as well as to stand up for the safety of the flying public, by not giving in to an intensive lobbying effort by the airline industry to delay and water down the key safety measures remaining to be implemented. Of particular importance are key rulemakings in the areas of pilot training and minimum qualification requirements.

Flight 3407 Families Call on Commerce Committee to Support Huerta's Nomination; Critical Rulemakings Hanging in the Balance at FAA PDF Print E-mail

Group is Counting on Acting Administrator to Complete Key Rulemakings on Pilot Training and Qualifications in Swift Manner

Buffalo, New York- July 31, 2012 – With the Senate's Commerce Committee scheduled to hold an executive session on Tuesday afternoon to consider the nomination of Michael Huerta as FAA Administrator, the 'Families of Continental Flight 3407' called on Chairman John D. 'Jay' Rockefeller (D-WV), ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), and their colleagues on the committee to approve the nomination of Huerta, and send his name to the entire Senate body for its approval. At the same time, the group underscored the importance of Huerta living up to his pledge to Chairman Rockefeller at his confirmation hearing to expedite a long-overdue rulemaking that would revamp airlines' pilot training programs. And the group continues to press the FAA to withstand industry pressure and finalize a rulemaking that would significantly enhance the entry-level requirements for commercial airline first officers.

Flight 3407 Families Call On FAA to Expedite Pilot Training Reforms in Wake of Air France Report PDF Print E-mail

Report Cites Lack of Training in 'Surprise Situations'; Hauntingly Similar to Flight 3407 Findings

Buffalo, New York- July 10, 2012 – Responding to last week's release of a final report on the causes of the fatal 2009 Air France crash that claimed 228 lives, the 'Families of Continental Flight 3407' continued to press officials in the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation, and the White House Office of Management and Budget to pick up the pace in finalizing critical pilot training improvements that would address a recurring problem of pilots improperly responding to emergency situations. The timeline for these safety reforms, which were unanimously approved by both houses of Congress in 2010 and directed to be completed by October 2011, has recently been pushed back to October 2013 by the FAA and the Obama Administration. Citing a process which already dates back to 1999, and which includes heavy industry pressure to delay the FAA's efforts, the family group called on acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to come through for the flying public and put safety ahead of the industry's bottom line.

Flight 3407 Families Applaud Rockefeller, Cantwell for Aggressive Questioning of Huerta; Call on White House to Speed Up Pilot Training Rule PDF Print E-mail

Proposed Two-Year Delay and Five-Year Period to Comply Will Pose Significant Safety Risk

Buffalo, New York- June 26, 2012 – Responding to Thursday's Senate confirmation hearing for Michael Huerta, President Obama's nominee as Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and the current acting Administrator, the 'Families of Continental Flight 3407' praised Senators John D. 'Jay' Rockefeller (D-WV) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) for their relentless questioning of Huerta on the FAA's recently-announced delay in instituting Congressionally-mandated new requirements for airlines' pilot training programs. The group called on Huerta, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, and the Obama administration to pick up the pace on implementing the critical safety rule that was supposed to be completed in October 2011, and was recently pushed back by the Administration until October 2013.

Flight 3407 Families Enraged by Administration's Proposed Two Year Delay in Pilot Training Reforms PDF Print E-mail

Critical NTSB Safety Recommendations Would Not Take Effect Until Ten Years After 2009 Crash

Buffalo, New York- June 19, 2012 – In response to a recently-published Department of Transportation report that set October 19, 2013 as the new target date for the issuance of a critical final rule to enhance commercial air carrier pilot training plans, the 'Families of Continental Flight 3407' expressed their frustration with the DOT, FAA, and the White House Office of Management and Budget for dragging their feet on this rulemaking project, which was initiated back in 1999. These critical safety reforms, mandated by Congress in the landmark 2010 Airline Safety Act, were required to be completed by October 1, 2011. Even more egregious, publishing this training rule in late 2013 would mean that airlines would not be required to comply with the new training guidelines until the year 2019, more than ten years after the crash of Continental Flight 3407, due to a five-year compliance window written into the most-recently proposed version of the rule. This debate takes on heightened significance as acting FAA Administrator and Obama Administration nominee Michael Huerta is scheduled to appear in front of the Senate's Commerce Committee for a confirmation hearing this Thursday. (Link to DOT Report: http://regs.dot.gov/rulemakings/201206/report.htm)

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