February 02, 2010

With Release Of Buffalo Plane Crash Investigation Report, Gillibrand Announces Legislation To Require FAA Action

Gillibrand: Time And Time Again The FAA Has Failed To Heed The Calls By The NTSB To Enhance Safety Measures And Training Requirements.

Washington, DC – With the release of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation report into the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 near Buffalo, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand pledged to stand with the families. Senator Gillibrand is announcing legislation that would require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to implement the NTSB recommendations.

“Time and time again the FAA has failed to heed the calls by the NTSB to enhance safety measures and training requirements.  It is time for that culture of inaction to change.  Today’s hearing will result in a number of recommendations about how to address the challenges that led to the Colgan Air tragedy.  These are issues that unfortunately are not limited to this one tragic event.  I will continue to stand with the Families of Flight 3407 to see that the FAA implements the recommendations and I plan to author the ‘Flight 3407 Memorial Act,’ which would require the FAA to do so.”

In May, after meeting with the families of the Flight 3407 crash near Buffalo, Senator Gillibrand asked that the NTSB ensure that needed changes in the airline system are not ignored. During the NTSB investigative hearings, families heard of the system wide failures – from training to crewmember fatigue – that led to the Flight 3407 crash. Senator Gillibrand wants to ensure that needed reforms and changes in the system are implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration.

In June, Senator Gillibrand submitted questions from the family members of victims in the Flight 3407 crash near Buffalo about fundamental failures in our aviation system at the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Aviation Safety & FAA Oversight. Senator Gillibrand wanted to ensure that their questions about a variety of safety issues were answered by Agency leadership. To that end, Senator Gillibrand asked family members to submit questions to her office, and in turn, Subcommittee Chairman Byron Dorgan agreed to submit them for the record, and were answered in writing.

In addition, Senator Gillibrand has worked with her colleagues and the Families of Flight 3407 on a number of bills to address safety concerns in the airline industry. She is an original cosponsor of S. 1744; legislation that would increase the minimum flight time requirements that a pilot must have in order to be hired by a commercial airline. She is also a cosponsor of S. 1284, which would implement a number of outstanding recommendations from the FAA as well as requiring the FAA to address issues such as pilot fatigue, safety of regional aircraft, information relating to test failures.