Buffalo, New York- June 15, 2010 – Continuing their fourteen month crusade for aviation safety reforms and the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Bill, members of the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ announced that they would be in attendance at House and Senate Aviation Subcommittee hearings this week. The House Aviation Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, June 16th at 9:30 a.m. in Room 2167 Rayburn House Office Building, while the Senate Aviation Subcommittee will hold its hearing on Thursday, June 17th at 10:00 a.m. in Room 253 Russell Senate Office Building.
“Once again, we will be there in front of the key leaders who hold the fate of the FAA Bill in their hands,” stated Karen Eckert of Williamsville, New York, who lost her sister and noted 9/11 activist Beverly Eckert in the crash. “Hopefully our presence will serve as a reminder for Chairmen Oberstar and Rockefeller, and the rest of the committee and subcommittee leadership, that there is a very real human side to this bill. Fifty families continue to suffer to this day because the airline industry and our government overseers didn’t do enough to ensure a true ‘One Level of Safety’ for our loved ones. And those fifty families are praying for a small measure of peace from this bill being on the President’s desk in the next seventeen days, so that other families do not have to feel this same pain.”
The current extension of the FAA Bill expires on July 3rd, and with numerous other issues looming for the July work period, time is running out on bringing this bill in front of both Houses for consideration.
As an additional focus, both hearings, which will examine the proposed merger between United and Continental, will feature as a witness, Jeff Smisek, the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Continental Airlines.
“While the main focus of these hearings may be the financial implications of this merger, we hope that the members do not lose sight of the safety considerations involved,” stated Scott Maurer of Moore, South Carolina, who lost his thirty year old daughter Lorin. “We would like to hear Mr. Smisek promise greater diligence when it comes to selecting code share partners and ensuring that these regionals do more than just simply adhering to the federal minimum standards when it comes to safety. And we are still waiting for a public answer to Senator Johanns’ question at last August’s hearing about whether Continental would support the concept of joint and several liability as a way to make sure that parent carriers are paying closer attention to their regional partners. So hopefully these questions are raised on behalf of the millions of Americans who fly and deserve a true ‘One Level of Safety.'”