Buffalo Area Congressman Pushes Back on Efforts by Trump Republicans to Reduce Pilot Training Requirements

Requirements were approved after fatal 2009 jet crash outside of Buffalo, New York

A News Release from the Buffalo, New York office of U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted November 2nd, 2017 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword Note from Niagara At Large publisher Doug DraperIf you wonder if this news about the U.S. Trump administration’s efforts to weaken requirements for commercial air pilot training – requirements that were approved after a commercial jet crashed in the Erie County, New York Town of Clarence , killing 50 people, just a few minutes before it was scheduled to land at the Buffalo Airport in the winter of 2009, just ask yourself how many of you or your loved ones on both sides of the U.S./Canada board use American airlines?

The broken and mangled remains of Flight 3407 in Clarence, New York, a few minutes flight away from the Buffalo Airport where it would have landed, in the winter of 2009

Now ask yourselves if you believe that for the safety of all who fly, the proper training of pilots should take priority over higher profit margins for commercial airline corporation owners and their shareholders?

The Trump administration is actually now moving to weaken pilot training requirements that are so obviously necessary in light of the gross flight crew errors that resulted in that terrible Clarence, New York jet crash going on nine years ago.

Now wonder Trump and his billionaire cronies prefer to fly on their own privately owned jets..

A memorial near the place where the commercial jet crashed, killing all 50 people aboard

Now here is Buffalo area Congressman Brian Higgins’ news release on this issue.)

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) took to the Floor of the House of Representatives to object to ongoing efforts to undermine flight safety provisions achieved through the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010.  The fate of the rules are being debated within the context of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization, set to expire in March 2018.

Higgins, who has joined the families of Flight 3407 as a consistent voice in the fight for flight safety over the last eight years, provided the following remarks on the House Floor:

(To access video click above or go to: https://youtu.be/wWytRmPnKG0)

“Mr. Speaker: No family or community should have to re-live the devastating loss we felt on February 12, 2009 – the day Continental Flight 3407 crashed in Western New York killing all aboard and one on the ground. 

Buffalo, New York area Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins

“Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Flight 3407 families and a bipartisan collection of Members of Congress, new flight safety standards have saved other families from similar pain, achieving seven years of no commercial airline fatalities. 

“Yet some, including a new nominee to the National Transportation Safety Board, are questioning the need for these hard-fought, common-sense flight safety and training standards.

“You have a right to know which airline is flying your plane.  You have a right to know that your pilot is well-rested.  You have a right know that the pilot that is adequately trained to handle any challenges that might occur in-flight. 

“For these rights and for enhanced safety, you can thank 3407 Families for their work reaching these standards and you can join me in fighting to make sure we keep them.”

Today the families of Flight 3407 also issued a statement blasting regional airlines’ proposal to reduce pilot hiring requirements and expressing gratitude to Sen. Duckworth and others fighting to preserve flight training requirements implemented in 2010. 

During a nomination hearing for the vice chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, Bruce Landsberg was critical of the enhanced pilot training requirements implemented following the crash of Flight 3407. 

To access video of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee nomination hearing: https://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2017/10/nomination-hearing  (Sen. Duckworth’s testimony and questioning regarding pilot training begins at 1:25 time mark) 

To read related stories on this issue, click on – http://buffalonews.com/2017/10/31/safety-board-nominee-stands-by-criticism-of-flight-3407-safety-rule/ .

And here is a New York Times story published after the crash – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/nyregion/13crash.html .

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space below the Bernie quote.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater binational Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders



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