Buffalo, New York- April 13, 2010 – As the House and Senate staffs get to work on resolving the differences in each body’s version of the FAA Reauthorization Bill through a pre-conference, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ issued a statement asking the committee and subcommittee leaders involved to set their personal agendas aside and be open to compromise in the interest of the crucial safety provisions included in the bill.
“Although for the most part there is a strong consensus on the safety issues, obviously there are some fairly significant differences in the two bills,’ stated John Kausner of Clarence Center, New York, who lost his twenty four year old daughter Ellyce in the tragedy. “When this bill passed the Senate we thought we had cleared our biggest hurdle, but that will only be the case if the key players come to the table with a spirit of cooperation. In the memory of our loved ones and the thousands of passengers who travel on regional airlines every day, we hope that the committee leadership from each house can come to agreement on a joint bill.”
“We have seen the entire range of politics in play during this process,” added Kenneth Mellett of McLean, Virginia, who lost his thirty-four-year-old son Coleman, a guitarist in the Chuck Mangione Band. “We have seen the special interests weigh in and receive last minute concessions, and we have seen the use of holds that are unfortunately not in the best interest of public safety. As this bill sits so close to coming to the President’s desk and giving us a small bit of peace for the horrible losses we have suffered, and more importantly, make air travel safer for all, hopefully those involved will do the right thing. We will be closely watching every step of the way, and will not be afraid to make our voices heard.”
Key differences still to be resolved include a dispute over labor laws governing FedEx versus UPS, an increase in passenger facility charges, stricter requirements for inspections of foreign repair stations, and anti-trust immunity for international code-shares. Additionally, the family group is pushing for the adoption of the strongest safety provisions from each bill.