Buffalo, New York- June 22, 2009 – The ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ strongly endorsed Senator Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) recently proposed legislation mandating a non-industry voice for safety on the Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council (MAC), the FAA Administrator’s inner circle of advisors.
“The current set-up of the MAC does not give safety recommendations a fair chance at the FAA, as it only represents the voice of the industry”, stated Paul Jonmaire of East Aurora, New York, who lost his fiancee Jean Marzolf Srnecz on Flight 3407. “Essentially the foxes are guarding the FAA henhouse, especially when it comes to safety recommendations that have a price tag associated with them. The industry representatives have been able to bully the FAA behind closed doors to prevent key safety initiatives from being implemented. This legislation will ensure more transparency and accountability in this key decision-making process.”
Currently the FAA’s Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) includes a representative for safety and the general flying public. However, this is not the case for the more influential MAC, which has seemingly led to undue industry influence on FAA decision-making in recent years.
“Chuck Schumer has been a strong advocate of our group from day one, and this is just one more example of that support”, said Susan Bourque also of East Aurora, New York, who lost her sister and 9/11 activist Beverly Eckert in the crash. “When the NTSB sends safety recommendations from this accident to the FAA, we want to have someone in the room representing our best interests, to make sure that cost does not get in the way of the safety improvements that are so clearly needed. We want to make sure that the lessons from this tragedy never have to be learned again at the expense of another set of families.”