Colgan Lands at Wrong Airport and Receives FAA Fine for Training Shortcuts in Same Week

Buffalo, New York- September 16, 2011 – The ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ responded to news of two safety lapses at Colgan Air this week by reiterating the importance of stronger aviation safety guidelines, particularly for the nation’s regional carriers. In the space of one week, Colgan had a pilot land his plane at the wrong airport, and received notice of a proposed $1.9 million fine from the FAA for using improperly-trained flight attendants on 172 flights. “


If the Obama administration needed any reminder about the importance of the safety regulations underway at the FAA, Colgan once again showed their true colors with these two incidents,” stated Scott Maurer of Moore, South Carolina, who lost his thirty year old daughter Lorin. “This fine is just another example of the drop-off in training provided between regional airlines and the major carriers. If Continental or United are going to sell the ticket and paint the plane in their colors, they should ensure that their regional partners operating the flights are making the same commitment to, and investment in safety and training. Unfortunately, Colgan continues to demonstrate that money is more important than safety, and Continental and United continue to look the other way.”

Colgan Air operated Continental Connection Flight 3407, which crashed outside of Buffalo, New York, in February 2009. In response to numerous safety deficiencies that were exposed by a National Transportation Safety Board investigation in the wake of the crash, Congress passed ‘The Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Adminstration Extension Act of 2010’, which directed the FAA to draw up significantly tougher regulations in the areas of pilot flight and duty time guidelines, training, and minimum qualifications. Currently the FAA is in the midst of these rulemaking projects, but is facing intense opposition from the airlines, particularly on the new pilot fatigue regulation.

“This is just another example of why these new flight and duty time guidelines are so critical to raise the safety level at some of these regional airlines,” stated Susan Bourque of East Aurora, New York, who lost her sister and prominent 9/11 widow and activist Beverly Eckert. “These regional airlines have repeatedly shown that they will gravitate right to the bare minimum federal standards, whether it comes to training, hiring, or scheduling their pilots to the extremes. And that just is underscored by the fact that the last six commercial crashes with fatalities have all been on regional carriers. We are counting on the Administration to come through with these stronger regulations for the safety of the flying public.”