Buffalo, New York- July 7, 2009 – As members of the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407′ continue to push for aviation safety reform in the Senate, the group has been encouraged by the efforts by the leadership of the House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, as well as its Aviation Subcommittee.
“Logically the FAA Reauthorization Bill, currently in the Senate, gives us our best shot at initially addressing many of the issues involved in the horrific accident,” stated Kevin Kuwik of Indianapolis, who lost his girlfriend Lorin Maurer on Flight 3407. “As time drags on and another winter looms in the distance, we are hopeful that our elected officials in this body can come together to pass this legislation, which will hopefully include meaningful steps to improve aviation safety. In the meantime, we are very encouraged by the House’s swift response to its recent hearing which critically examined many of the industry’s shortcomings, and its subsequent discussions about a bill focused mainly on aviation safety.”
At the House Aviation subcommittee hearing held on June 11th, where Mike Loftus of Lubbock, Texas, father of passenger Madeline Loftus, testified on behalf of the group, the leadership of both the full committee (Chairman James Oberstar, D-NY, and Ranking Member John Mica, R-FL), and the subcommittee (Chairman Jerry Costello, D-IL, and Ranking Member Thomas Petri, R-WI), spoke to the need for decisive legislative action to make sure that the mistakes of Continental 3407 are not to be repeated.
“When you look at the statistics, clearly the major carriers are doing something right when it comes to training and cultivating a stong safety culture,” added Kuwik. “Why they would not have more of an involvement with their regional partners and demand that industry-wide best practices are followed when their names are represented on the ticket, is frankly appalling when you consider all that went wrong with Colgan Air on Flight 3407. The fact that the Aviation subcommittee and its staff have been so receptive to our concerns about pilot screening and experience standards, training, fatigue, and the mandatory implementation of must-have safety tools like FOQA (Flight Operational Quality Assurance) programs, is very reassuring to our group.”