April 22nd Deadline for DOT to Send Pilot Qualifications Rule to OMB is Next

Buffalo, New York- April 17, 2013 – In conjunction with an aviation safety oversight hearing on Tuesday, the Senate Commerce Committee and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made it very clear on multiple occasions that they expected FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and his counterparts at the Department of Transportation and White House Office of Management and Budget to complete two overdue aviation safety rulemaking proceedings in the upcoming months. The ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407,’ who were on the Hill on Tuesday for the hearing as well as to weigh in with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, lauded the senators for demanding timely action.

“We thank Chairman Rockefeller and Ranking Member Thune for holding the Administrator’s feet to the fire during the hearing, and we appreciate Senator Schumer weighing in with a statement for the record (found below) as well,” stated John Kausner of Clarence Center, New York, who lost his twenty-four year-old daughter Ellyce. “Clearly we are learning the hard way that we are going to have to hound FAA, DOT, and OMB every step of the way to stick to their self-established timelines. The upcoming weeks will be absolutely critical, and we will continue to bang the drum until Administrator Huerta delivers on his written promise to get these rules completed.”

The “Pilot Certification and Qualification Requirements” rulemaking, which will significantly raise the entry level qualifications of First Officers at regional airlines, is currently at DOT and is scheduled to be sent to OMB on April 22nd. The “Qualification, Service, and Use of Crewmembers and Aircraft Dispatchers” rulemaking, which will revamp the pilot training curriculum for commercial airlines, is currently still at FAA and targeted to be sent to DOT on June 3rd.