Buffalo, New York- March 31, 2011 – As the House readies to take up debate on its version of the FAA Bill and the amendments to it later this afternoon, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ issued a plea to Chairman John Mica (R-FL) of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Chairman Tom Petri (R-WI) of the House Aviation Subcommittee, and all Republican members of the Aviation Subcommittee to vote against Rep. Bill Shuster’s (R-PA) amendment that would significantly handicap the FAA in its efforts to address aviation safety issues through the rulemaking process.
“It is very disappointing to have this legislation that could have a significant adverse effect on all future safety rulemakings brought forth by a Member who is not even on the Aviation Subcommittee and didn’t even vote for our safety bill in the first place,” stated Scott Maurer of Moore, South Carolina, who lost his 30-year old daughter Lorin on Flight 3407. “As the clock struck midnight on Thursday, July 29th, Chairmen Mica and Petri were there in the House Chamber to support and commend us on the passage of landmark aviation safety legislation. They were at every hearing along the way, and always had nothing but praise for our diligence in making sure that the needless mistakes of Flight 3407 are never again repeated. Regardless of what this law may or may not be intended to accomplish, there is no way you can look at it from a safety standpoint and not be concerned about it having disastrous consequences down the road. In the honor of the loved ones we lost and continue to fight for, and for all safety advocacy groups past, present, and future, we are counting on them to do the right thing for safety.”
The families are concerned in the short-term about the legislation’s adverse impact on the current FAA rulemaking on pilot fatigue, which has been on the NTSB’s Most Wanted List for over twenty years, and in the long-term on its effect on all safety rulemakings to come. The legislation is aimed to appease cargo and non-scheduled carriers, who have been furiously lobbying Congress over the past few months for a preferential exemption from the FAA final rule on Flight and Duty Time Limitations, which is expected to be released on August 1st of this year.