Call on Congress, Trump Administration to Uphold Enhanced First Officer Qualification Requirements from 2010 Aviation Safety Bill

Buffalo, New York – September 24, 2018 – With the current Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization set to expire at the end of the month and a new reauthorization bill on the verge of being considered, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ announced a press conference to be held today, Monday, September 24th, at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The group called on Congress and the Trump Administration to hold the line on stronger entry-level experience requirements for regional airline first officers, mandated by a landmark aviation safety bill unanimously passed by Congress in 2010, despite an aggressive and well-financed lobbying campaign by the regional airlines and their lobbyists.

“We know that the House and Senate have been engaged in serious negotiations this month, and we appreciate the efforts of every member of the Western New York delegation on our behalf throughout the duration of this Congress to ensure that what we have fought so hard for is not watered down in any way,” stated Karen Eckert and Susan Bourque, who lost their sister and prominent 9/11 widow and activist, Beverly Eckert. “We have been in close coordination with the offices of Congressmen Higgins and Reed in the past two weeks, and we appreciate the determined efforts of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to ensure that amendments driven by the regionals have been kept at bay throughout this process in the Senate. It is our fervent hope that Congress steps up and takes long-term action this week that maintains these strong standards that clearly have contributed to the safest period in U.S. commercial air travel. When that happens, we will be looking to Secretary Chao and acting Administrator Elwell to stick to their promises that they will honor Congress’s intent when it comes to this critical safety issue.”

The press conference will be held at 1:00 pm on today, Monday, September 24th, on the upper level of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF).