In Wake of 16-Day Government Shutdown, Call on Huerta, Foxx to Deliver by November 6th
Buffalo, New York – October 22, 2013 – In the wake of this month’s government shutdown, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ called for a new deadline of Wednesday, November 6th for a critical pilot training rule as the October 21st target previously offered by Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta came and went on Monday. FAA officials had previously notified the families that the 16 day shutdown had resulted in employees at FAA, the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) who were responsible for the rule being placed on furlough.
“Obviously the government shutdown offers a ready-made excuse to let the deadline slide and kick the can down the road like has been happening on this rule since it was first initiated back in 1999, and we are sure that the airlines and their lobbyists are celebrating this reprieve somewhere on K Street,” stated Scott Maurer, of Moore, South Carolina, who lost his thirty year-old daughter Lorin in the crash. “To be fair to Secretary Foxx, Administrator Huerta and the White House Office of Management and Budget, we will adjust our sights for the 16 days that their employees were furloughed and look forward to this historic announcement by November 6th. This rule will help some of our nation’s regional airlines bring their pilot training programs into the twenty-first century, and continue the push to achieve a true ‘One Level of Safety’ for our commercial airlines, something that Lorin and the other victims were sadly denied.”
Prior to the shutdown, the rule had cleared FAA and DOT and was awaiting final approval at OMB. In addition to requiring more robust stall and upset recovery training, the rule proposed the establishment of a Continuous Analysis Program (CAP) for all airlines, to include the creation of remedial training programs to identify and remediate pilots who demonstrate repeated training deficiencies. Most importantly, the rule would raise the level of the nation’s airline pilot training programs by requiring more extensive use of simulators and that all training be done in a full-crew environment.
“On the four year anniversary of the crash last February, Administrator Huerta put it in writing that this rule would be completed this October, and Secretary Foxx seconded that commitment when we met with him in July,” declared Karen Eckert of Williamsville, New York, who lost her sister and prominent 9/11 widow and activist Beverly Eckert. “We cannot emphasize how critical each and every day that passes without this rule becomes, since the currently-proposed rule already carries an extensive five-year implementation period. The more stringent requirements for stall training and the remediation of lower-performing pilots called for by the rule are just two examples of how this could have made a difference at Colgan Air prior to the crash of Flight 3407, and FAA, DOT, and OMB owe it to all passengers traveling on our nation’s regional airlines to deliver this rule by November 6th.”