WNY Delegation Reacts to FAA Safety Measures

December 21, 2011 Updated Dec 21, 2011 at 5:16 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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WNY Delegation Reacts to FAA Safety Measures

December 21, 2011 Updated Dec 21, 2011 at 5:16 PM EDT

(WKBW releases) New York representatives Brian Higgins, Louise Slaughter, Kathy Hochul and Tom Reed, along with New York senator Charles E. Schumer, welcomed Wednesday's announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation of the much-awaited completion of landmark new rules to address pilot fatigue. 

“The National Transportation Safety Board has identified pilot fatigue as a problem for over two decades,” Higgins said in a news release. "So this rule was long overdue.  Nonetheless, we are pleased that the day is finally here when everyone who has fought tirelessly on behalf of those who lost their lives in the crash Flight 3407 will see the fruits of their labor.  I join my Western New York colleagues in celebrating the release of the pilot fatigue rule to ensure that the American flying public can feel safe that the person sitting in the cockpit when they board that plane is adequately trained, prepared and rested.”

“Today marks a very important day in pilot safety,” Slaughter said in a news release. “Finally, guidance has been provided by the FAA that will help assure the American public that when they step into a plane, their pilot is well-rested. I am proud to have worked on the legislation that required this rule and amazed by the work done especially by the family members who worked through their grief to make the skies safer for us all. While I’m pleased we have a final rule on pilot fatigue, we know from the findings of the National Transportation Safety Board, that it was not the only factor contributing to the tragic crash in Clarence two years ago. There must be more done to address pilot training, especially on techniques as basic as how to fly in ice when landing in Buffalo.”

“Today’s rule has been a longtime coming for the Flight 3407 families, and all members of the flying public,” Hochul said in a news release.  “I thank the families of the victims for all the work that’s been done to increase the safety of our skies.  While today’s announcement is good news, there’s still much more work to be done to ensure a tragedy like Colgan Air Flight 3407 never happens again.”

“I appreciate that the FAA is finally moving on these overdue fatigue rules and I commend the families of the victims for keeping this matter in the forefront,” Reed said in a news release.  “These rules serve as a step forward for safety and I thank the FAA for their work.”

“Fighting for these flight fatigue rules has been like running the toughest triathlon: there have been endless hurdles and barriers, but by standing side by side with the Flight 3407 families, we’ve made it to the finish line. Today, we have finally crossed the finish line in a long race that will mean safer skies for passengers,” Schumer said in a statement.