Group Continues to Push for Senate Action on FAA Reauthorization

Buffalo, New York- November 30, 2009 – The ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ announced that group members will attend the Senate Aviation Subcommittee’s Hearing on Pilot Fatigue, to be held on Tuesday, December 1, 2009, at 10:15 a.m. in Room 253 of the Russell Senate Office Building.

The hearing, presided over by Senator Byron Dorgan (ND), will be the fourth aviation safety-related hearing to be held by the subcommittee since the National Transportation Safety Board released in May many of the details associated with the crash of Flight 3407, operated by Colgan Air of Manassas, Virginia, in partnership with Continental Airlines. The hearing is expected to focus on the Federal Aviation Administration’s progress in its rulemaking efforts for new flight and duty time regulations for pilots.

“Every time we journey back to Washington, we ask ourselves, what measures could have kept this very preventable accident from occurring,” stated John Kausner of Clarence Center, New York, who lost his 24 year old daughter Elly in the crash less than a mile from his family’s home. “Along with training, oversight of regional airlines, and pilot qualifications and hiring practices, fatigue is certainly one of the four central issues that contributed to this tragedy and one that we would like to see addressed.”

This rulemaking effort is expected to revise regulations that govern the maximum periods of time that pilots may fly and be on duty in a given day, as well as that set the minimum amounts of rest that pilots must receive between duty periods. It is just one of a host of aviation safety improvements that the group is pushing Congress and the FAA to implement, although Congressional action has come to a standstill as the Senate drags its feet on the FAA Reauthorization Act, which contains the safety provisions the group is pushing for.

“The FAA Bill was reported out of the Commerce Committee back in July, and since then we have been patiently waiting,” stated Scott Maurer of Moore, SC, who lost his 30 year old daughter Lorin. “We thank all the senators who have been supportive of our efforts to date, and we ask the leadership of the Finance Committee, the majority party in the Senate, and the Obama administration to please make these critical initiatives a priority sooner rather than later.”