Buffalo, New York- April 28, 2010 – In response to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal detailing yet another delay in the FAA’s attempt to impose new flight and duty time regulations for pilots, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ lashed out at the White House Office of Management and Budget for its position that the safety benefits achieved by these new rules would not justify the cost incurred by the airlines in implementing them.
“Is it going to take another 20 years of pilot fatigue being on top of the NTSB’s Most Wanted List for us to get this issue addressed?”, stated Scott Maurer of Moore, South Carolina, who lost his daughter Lorin. “Frankly, I’m sick of listening to the airlines complaining that the sky is falling. Because of this crash, our sky has already fallen. How many dollars do these number crunchers in the White House estimate the life of one of these passengers to be worth? They can add as many zeroes to the end of that number as they want and I’ll still tell you it doesn’t come close to equaling what we lost with Lorin. It’s time for the Obama administration to put the numbers and the airlines aside and do what’s right for the people.”
“Secretary LaHood has assured us time and again that safety is the number one priority of this administration, and Administrator Babbitt has said these critical fatigue regulations are his top priority from Day One,” added Susan Bourque of East Aurora, New York, who lost her sister Beverly Eckert on Flight 3407. “If that is the case, we expect them to prevail within the administration to put an end to these delays and get this process back on the fast track. It is extremely disappointing to hear that a cost-benefit analysis is getting in the way of such a crucial safety reform. And they can’t blame the airlines or the pilots for this hold-up; this falls squarely on the shoulders of the Obama admininstration.”
In the aftermath of Flight 3407, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ have made addressing pilot fatigue one of their top priorities, in addition to raising pilot qualificaton standards, strengthening pilot training, and providing stricter oversight of regional airlines like Colgan Air, who operated Flight 3407 through a code-share agreement with Continental.