Continue Push Against Watering Down of Experience Requirements for Regional Airlines

Buffalo, New York – February 13, 2018 – With Congress continuing to trudge through the FAA Reauthorization process and with increased pressure from the nation’s regional airlines on the Trump Administration to relax safety standards enacted in the wake of the 2009 regional airline crash outside of Buffalo, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ will be traveling to Washington on Thursday in conjunction with the 9th anniversary of the crash.

“During the initial NTSB hearings in May 2009, Senator Dorgan shared with us the story of his mother, and advised us that if we wanted to make a difference, to be at everything,” stated Scott Maurer of Palmetto, Florida, who lost his thirty year-old daughter Lorin. “We have taken that advice to heart, and for the past nine years, we have found a way to be at every hearing, every mark-up, and of course, to be here to mark each anniversary. The unanimous passage of the Airline Safety Act in 2010, the stricter regional airline safety standards enacted by FAA and DOT in the areas of pilot qualifications, fatigue, and training, and most importantly, 9 years without a single fatal commercial crash on a U.S. carrier, show us that these efforts have paid tremendous dividends. Hopefully our trip on Thursday will serve as another reminder to the Administration and Congress that we cannot allow ourselves to take our foot off the gas and relax when it comes to holding these regional airlines to the same high standards exhibited by the mainline carriers.”

The family group will have media availability in conjunction with the Western New York congressional delegation (Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Representatives Louise Slaughter, Brian Higgins, Tom Reed, and Chris Collins). Details will be forthcoming.

“We have an All-Star team of supporters here in Washington, and what has been achieved would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of the Western New York delegation and their staffers,” declared Karen Eckert of Williamsville, New York, who lost her sister and prominent 9/11 widow and activist, Beverly Eckert. “They exemplify the bipartisan nature of this safety cause, which was also reflected in the committee work done back in 2009 and 2010 to make this legislation a reality, and continued oversight efforts ever since. Over the past 9 years, the support of senators and representatives from Alaska to Maine in co-sponsoring legislation, signing on to letters, and asking the tough questions at hearings show what a truly national issue this is, and is a remarkable tribute to our loved ones.”