Group "Outraged" Cost Analysis Applied To Flight Safety

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The Buffalo News printed Friday that the group Families of Flight 3407 is "outraged" that regulators may be concerned about the potential cost of rules being developed to address pilot fatigue. The group is eager for change to flight crew duty and rest requirements and the Buffalo News reported that the rulemaking has "hit a snag." The FAA, it says, "is informally consulting with the Office of Management and Budget" and "sources close to the talks said that some at OMB are concerned the FAA will write a proposal that will cost the airlines too much money." One member of the group said that suggests "cost-benefit analysis is getting in the way" of "crucial safety reform." The NTSB did not list crew fatigue as a central factor in the crash, but discovered that neither member of Flight 3407's cockpit crew had slept in a bed the night before the crash. The FAA says its new rules are currently under administration review and the OMB says it hasn't yet been formally involved.

Laura Brown, spokeswoman for the FAA, said "the flight and duty proposal is under administration review" and the agency's "main priority is completing a rule that will help pilots avoid fatigue and keep air travelers safe." Brown added, "this is a complex issue, and we want this done right." FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt has said the rules are being fast-tracked and could be ready by spring, but also that the review may take six months. Tom Gavin, spokesman for the OMB, said the FAA has not yet submitted a formal proposal to the OMB. Families of Flight 3407 exists because of the February 2009 crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 that killed all aboard. It is seeking the expedient application of safety improvements to address issues it believes were avoidable factors that contributed to the crash.