Today’s news:

Schumer decries loose pilot regulation plan

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has complained to the Federal Aviation Administration that airlines are trying to water down rules against using fatigued pilots that he championed.

The regulations were put into effect as a result of a crash that left 49 people dead near Buffalo, N.Y., in 2009. The National Transportation Safety Board said its investigation concluded that both pilots in the Colgan Air flight 3407 were probably exhausted.

Schumer told the FAA that the Air Transport Association, which represents most large airlines, recently wrote the chairman of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform.

He said the airline association complained that “much of the regulations we face are unproven, unnecessarily burdensome and adversely impact growth, profitability and job creation in our industry.”

Schumer said “rather than work to water down vital safety regulations, we need the airline industry to come to the table to ensure that we have the greatest possible protections for airplane passengers.”

He contended that better safety standards will reassure passengers and bring more traffic to the airline industry.

“Pilot fatigue remains a widespread problem that must be addressed,” Schumer said. “And we simply cannot afford to scale back rules that will get pilots the rest and training they need to fly.”

The legislation setting rules on maximum work periods to prevent pilot fatigue was written by Schumer and families of the crash victims. It was passed by Congress in August.

The law requires implementation of a rule strengthening training programs for crew members, including pilots, flight attendants, engineers and dispatchers

Schumer said it appeared that the airline association was appealing to the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform to put pressure on the FAA to dilute the regulations.

The crash of the Colgan airplane near Buffalo occurred two years ago this past Saturday, killing 49 people on the plane and one on the ground.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com or phone at 718-260-4536.

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group