Republican House Considers Major Cuts To F.A.A.

February 13, 2011 Updated Feb 11, 2011 at 5:19 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Republican House Considers Major Cuts To F.A.A.

February 13, 2011 Updated Feb 11, 2011 at 5:19 PM EDT


Senator: The Voices Of The Families Of Flight 3407 Were Heard Loud And Clear And We Will Save Lives Because Of Their Advocacy

( release from U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand )

Washington, D.C. ­­– On the eve of the second anniversary of the Continental Flight 3407 tragedy, the Republican House is considering major cuts to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that could delay critical safety improvements. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today warned against any cuts that would delay safety improvements and urged the FAA to stand by the timeline for implementation of airline safety improvements irrespective of the cuts made. Last year, Senator Gillibrand and families of Flight 3407 helped pass the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010. However, last week at a House Committee Hearing, FAA Administrator Randolph Babbitt expressed concern that proposed spending cuts by House Leadership would endanger quick implementation of critical safety provisions. Senator Gillibrand called on the FAA to continue to expedite drafting and implementing these new rules.

“We must ensure that these safety improvements happen as soon as possible,” Senator Gillibrand said “Over the past two years, I have gotten to know many of the families of the victims of Flight 3407. They have been a constant presence here in Washington, D.C., working to improve safety conditions so that others are spared the same loss they have had to endure. It is because of the tireless efforts of these families - their unwavering pursuit for justice - that we have taken some of the most significant steps in improving the safety of the nation’s aviation system in years. I thank the families for their strength. I thank them for their steadfast advocacy. The American people owe them a debt of gratitude for the work they have done over these many, many months.”

Senator Gillibrand specifically called on the FAA to meet the August 1 deadline on the proposed rule regarding Flightcrew Member Duty and Rest Requirements. For decades, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has advocated for reforms dealing with concerns over crewmember health and readiness in operations. Senator Gillibrand also emphasized Congressional intent in response to these long-awaited updates, and the critical importance of these safety provisions to the well-being of the traveling public.

In her letter to FAA Administrator Babbitt, Senator Gillibrand wrote, “Through the [Flight 3407 Families] steadfast determination over many, many months, Congress passed historic legislation that provided critical guidance to the Administration on a number of safety and oversight issues…We owe it to those lost that cold, February night, and the millions of Americans utilizing our aviation system, to continue to push for not just one level of safety, but a higher level of safety.