Family Group on Alert for Regional Airline Lobbying Effort to Weaken Entry-Level Pilot Experience Requirements

Buffalo, New York – February 1, 2023 – Nearly 14 years after the tragic and very avoidable crash of Continental Flight 3407 outside of Buffalo, New York, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ are readying for the upcoming FAA Reauthorization process and yet another attempt by the regional airlines to water down the higher pilot qualification requirements enacted in the aftermath of the crash.

“No aviation-related legislative process would be complete without the airlines having their hands out looking for some type of government bailout, and here we go again,” declared Scott Maurer of Palmetto, Florida, who lost his thirty year old daughter Lorin, an athletic department fundraiser at Princeton University.  “Every time there is a crisis, real or alleged, the airlines cry wolf and look for all sorts of concessions and accommodations.  In this case, the regionals continue to spend millions of dollars lobbying against the safety initiatives unanimously adopted by Congress and implemented as a result of Flight 3407.  But we will honor the memory of Lorin and all of our loved ones who were lost that night by continuing to show up and resist these efforts at every turn.  We are counting on the leadership in the House to do the right thing and not allow these critical safety measures to be altered in any way.’

Group members will be in attendance today as the House’s Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure holds its organizational meeting at 9:30 am in Room 2167 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

“It truly is both remarkable and sad that we are still having to fight this fight nearly 14 years later,” stated Karen Eckert of Williamsville, New York, who lost her sister and prominent 9/11 activist Beverly Eckert.  “On one hand, you have over a decade of incontrovertible evidence that these requirements are working, and you have the foremost experts in aviation safety – Sully Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles – staunchly defending them.  And yet we continue to see maneuvering in the back rooms and shadows of Washington to undermine them in any way possible to rush young pilots into the cockpits of commercial airlines, all in the interest of fattening corporate profits and the bonuses of airline executives.  Just as there was no retreat or relent in Beverly’s advocacy over all the years, there will be none in ours.”