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On the Eve of the Anniversary of the Crash of Flight 3407, Higgins Calls on Congress to Stand With Families & the Public Against Efforts to Water Down Flight Safety Rules

Feb 11, 2016
Press Release
House of Representatives Transportation Committee Meeting This Week to Consider Amendments to FAA Bill

As members of the House of Representatives Committee met to consider amendments to legislation providing reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) took to the House Floor urging his colleagues to reject amendments aimed at diminishing flight safety progress achieved since the crash of Flight 3407.

February 12th marks the 7th anniversary of the tragic crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 that took place in Western New York.  Higgins along with the families of the crash victims and members of the Western New York delegation fought for changes to flight safety provisions based on lessons learned following the 2009 crash, which were included in legislation approved in 2010.

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Congressman Higgins spoke about new attempts to water down those safety measures.  His remarks are below:

Mr. Speaker:  In 2010 Congress passed landmark aviation safety legislation.

The provisions of this law reflected the recommendations of the National Transportation Safety Board which – tragically - were given urgency after the crash of Continental Flight 3407 near Buffalo, New York.

The families of those who were lost in the crash turned their grief into purpose, and led a relentless and heroic campaign to pass this law.

Years later – at this very moment in fact -- the families are across the street at a committee markup of the FAA Authorization bill, amid rumors that the regional airlines might encourage amendments to water down these safety reforms.

I want the Families to know that they are not in this alone. The Western New York Congressional Delegation will fight alongside them against attempts to weaken aviation safety standards.

Tomorrow marks the seventh anniversary of the crash. I call on this House not to forget it.

On February 2nd, Higgins also joined the Flight 3407 families and the Western New York delegation at a news conference in Washington, DC relaunching the push to protect the improved aviation safety regulations.  Higgins also led a letter with other members of the House of Representatives pressing committee leadership to refuse attempts to undermine pilot qualification standards. 

On February 3rd, Transportation Committee Chairman Congressman Bill Shuster introduced the Aviation, Innovation, Reform & Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, a bill reauthorizing the FAA.  The Committee met on February 11th to consider amendments to the legislation.  The deadline for FAA reauthorization is March 31.