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Higgins Announces Approval of Amendment Protecting the 1,500-Hour Pilot Training Standard

House to Vote Thursday on Full FAA Reauthorization Package

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives has approved, by a vote of 243-191, a bipartisan amendment introduced by Reps. Higgins, Nick Langworthy, and Claudia Tenney, which protects the 1,500-hour rule put in place following the crash of Flight 3407. Provisions in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization legislation threatened to diminish the pilot training standard by allowing additional training hours to be completed in a simulator, rather than in-flight. 

“Implementing and protecting flight safety measures has been a 14-year fight, but it is a fight worth taking on because it means safer skies for everyone and it prevents other families from enduring the loss and pain felt by the families of Flight 3407,” said Congressman Higgins. “I commend the families for their continued advocacy as well as our united bipartisan Western New York delegation and all members who saw the wisdom in supporting aviation standards which have proven to save lives.”

Prior to the vote, Congressman Higgins gave remarks on the House floor urging passage of the amendment. Over the years since the 2009 crash in Western New York, Higgins has worked closely with the families of Flight 3407 and bipartisan colleagues to advocate for flight safety measures. Most recently he testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and urged the Transportation Secretary to refuse attempts by regional air carriers to circumvent pilot training rules. 

The Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act is scheduled for a House vote on Thursday, July 20, 2023. The bill, which includes various aviation directives, would reauthorize the FAA’s funding and authorities through 2028.