Advocates Say New Pilot Rules May Face Challenges


With FAA reauthorization in play, and a new Republican Congress in Washington, flight-safety advocates met on Monday in Buffalo, N.Y., to express concern that the new rules for airline pilots enacted last year might be rolled back. Chesley Sullenberger, best known as captain of the “Miracle on the Hudson” flight, and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., met with families of those who died in the 2009 Colgan Air crash that prompted the call for new rules. Schumer said some regional airlines are advocating for changes in the new safety standards, including the requirement that first officers must have an ATP certificate and 1,500 flight hours. The relatives said they will fight any effort to change the new rules.

“After all of the hard work that went into passing new airline safety regulations in the wake of the crash of Flight 3407, it is unthinkable that some in the aviation industry would even consider trying to scale back these safety standards,” said Schumer. Sullenberger added: “Because of the tragic crash of Continental Connection/Colgan Air 3407, we have learned important lessons and Congress has mandated crucial safety improvements. We owe it to those who lost their lives on that flight, their families, and to the flying public, not to allow these criticalsafety rules tobe weakened or rolled back.” Schumer also urged the FAA to finalize and implement two rules required by The Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010 that are still outstanding — a pilot records database, and a rule focused on mentoring, professional development and leadership for pilots.