Pilot Qualification Rule Due in Next Month; Training Revamp Due by October
Buffalo, New York- June 27, 2013 – Within minutes of Anthony Foxx being confirmed by the Senate to be the next Transportation Secretary, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ called on Ray LaHood’s successor to follow through on an invitation to sit down with the group, as well as to deliver on two critical new safety regulations.
“First and foremost, we would like to congratulate Secretary Foxx on his confirmation,” stated Scott Maurer of Moore, South Carolina, who lost his thirty year-old daughter Lorin in the crash. “We enjoyed the opportunity to attend his confirmation hearing with the Commerce Committee, and were encouraged by his declaration that safety would be his absolute top priority. Beyond that, we deeply appreciated his pledge to sit down with us should he be confirmed, and now we look forward to taking him up on his offer, hopefully sooner rather than later. The administration faces some major challenges in the upcoming months in terms of upgrading the regional airlines’ commitment to safety, and hopefully Secretary Foxx and FAA Administrator Huerta will step up to the plate and deliver.”
Secretary Foxx assumes his office just as two critical and already past-due aviation safety initiatives approach key deadlines. A new rule that will elevate the entry-level qualifications required of new-hire regional airline first officers must be completed by August 1, and another rule that will upgrade airlines’ crewmember training programs faces an October due date. In both cases, the Administration has faced significant pressure from the nation’s major and regional airlines to water down and/or stall the safety measures.
“As we welcome Secretary Foxx to this post, we also offer our appreciation to Ray LaHood for all that he has done on the behalf of the flying public to advance the cause of a true ‘One Level of Safety’ between our nation’s regional and mainline carriers,” stated Susan Bourque of East Aurora, New York, who lost her sister and prominent 9/11 widow and activist Beverly Eckert. “However, much work remains to be done, and Secretary Foxx faces these two major challenges right off the bat. As always, you have the industry and their significant lobbying resources on one side, and the little people like us on the other side. Our efforts are too late to save Beverly and the others who needlessly lost their lives, but hopefully we can make a difference for all future air travelers. We are counting on Secretary Foxx and Administrator Huerta to come through here in the next four months.”