Buffalo, New York- February 4, 2011 – In advance of next Saturday’s two year anniversary of the tragedy that took the lives of their fifty one loved ones, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ announced that group members would be in Washington on Tuesday, February 8th to continue their push for higher safety standards at our nation’s regional airlines. The group’s plans include meetings with the leadership and new members of the Aviation Subcommittees in both House, as well as attendance at a House Aviation Subcommittee hearing on the FAA Reauthorization Bill at which FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt will be testifying.
“As painful as it is going to be on the 12th to reflect on the tremendous hole in our lives without Beverly and the other victims for the past two years, next Tuesday will serve as a strong reminder of the dedication that our group has shown to make sure that we do everything humanly possible to prevent a repeat of this tragedy from occurring,” stated Karen Eckert of Williamsville, New York, who lost her sister and prominent 9/11 activist Beverly Eckert on Flight 3407. “We were fortunate to have tremendous committee and subcommittee leadership in the last Congress to make this landmark aviation safety legislation possible. We are looking forward to working with the leadership of the new Congress to ensure that vigilance is maintained over the FAA’s on-going efforts to translate these safety provisions into regulation. Obviously we are grateful for all the support to-date of Senators Rockefeller, Hutchison, and DeMint, as well as Congressmen Mica, Petri, and Costello, and we look forward to working with Senator Cantwell and Congressman Rahall as we move forward. And to all the new members of the subcommittees, we are eager to sit down with you to update you on our issues and to share our passion for this cause.”
The group also hopes that their presence at the FAA Reauthorization Hearing will serve as a continued reminder to Administrator Babbitt and the members of the Aviation Subcommittee of the importance of not weakening Congress’s intent in the regulations that are currently being drafted.
“Every day we remind ourselves that the law is only as strong as the regulations that come from it,” added Scott Maurer of Moore, South Carolina, who lost his thirty year old daughter Lorin. “We are counting on the leadership of Adminstrator Babbitt to make sure that we achieve a true ‘One Level of Safety’, not just on paper, but in fact, for all regional airline passengers. There has been much forward progress with implementing the law to this point, but we know that the ATA (Air Transport Assocation representing the major carriers) and the RAA (Regional Airline Association) are always lurking in the DC shadows looking for opportunities to water things down. Hopefully the ‘sea of red’ at Tuesday’s hearing will serve as a reminder to him of what we have lost and how determined we are to make sure that it is never allowed to happen again.”
In addition to attending Tuesday’s hearing and conducting numerous meetings with staffers on both sides of the Hill, the group will also be holding a press conference to honor the memory of their loved ones and to spotlight the key rulemakings that our in progress at the FAA. Details will be forthcoming.