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Congressmembers Higgins & Lee Join Rep. Holt in Introducing House Bill Aimed at Providing "One Level of Aviation Safety"

Jul 21, 2009
Press Release

Today Congressmen Brian Higgins (NY-27) and Chris Lee (NY-26) joined Congressman Rush Holt (NJ-12) in introducing the Ensuring One Level of Aviation Safety Act of 2009.

“The recent tragedies in our nation’s airline industry have exposed serious deficiencies in federal aviation safety standards,” said Holt, who represents in Congress the families of three victims of the Flight 3407 crash. “We in Congress must push the FAA to take aggressive action by imposing more stringent and uniform safety regulations on both national and regional carriers. To honor the victims and their families, we must do all we can to prevent any such tragedies in the future.”

“The tragedy that happened on February 12th in Western New York has forever changed the lives of so many in this community,” said Congressman Higgins, referring to the crash of Flight 3407.  “We owe it to the victims, their loved ones and all air travelers to learn from this devastating event and make changes that leave a legacy of aviation safety improvements moving forward.”

“This important bipartisan legislation contains a number of long overdue reforms that will help improve pilot training practices and ensure passenger safety and confidence,” said Congressman Lee. “Just as important, this is yet another indication of the hard work of the Flight 3407 families, who have been tireless in pushing lawmakers and policymakers to take action.”

Under the legislation the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would be required to implement recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that allows for:

  • Random, unannounced, on-site safety inspections of regional air carriers;
  • New rules to address pilot fatigue; 
  • Carriers to have greater access to information about pilot practical test failures; 
  • Greater oversight of pilot training schools; 
  • And the establishment of a national standard relative to the minimum number of flight hours required for commercial aircraft pilots.

The bill is the House of Representative’s companion bill to a Senate version introduced by Senators Olympia Snowe of Maine and Barbara Boxer of California and cosponsored by New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as Sens. Evan Bayh (IN), Amy Klobuchar (MN), and Mark Begich (AK). 

The bill is supported by the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407.’  For more information on the efforts of the victims’ families visit: https://www.3407memorial.com.