Flight 3407 Families to Attend House Hearing; Gear Up for FAA Reauthorization Process

Buffalo, New York – November 18, 2014

With Congress preparing to take up a new FAA Reauthorization effort in the next Congress, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ announced their intentions to be involved in the process as they continue their crusade to achieve a true ‘One Level of Safety’ between the nation’s major and regional carriers.  They will kick off their efforts by attending Tuesday’s House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s hearing entitled, ‘FAA Reauthorization: Issues in Modernizing and Operating the Nation’s Airspace’.

“So many wonderful lives, including that of my beautiful daughter Lorin, were needlessly lost on a February night over five years ago, and we remain firmly committed to doing everything possible to hold regional airlines accountable for the same high safety standards that their major partners are adhering to,” declared Scott Maurer of Moore, South Carolina, who lost his thirty year old daughter Lorin in the crash.  “Passengers on our nation’s regional airlines deserve nothing less than the same investment in training and best practice safety management programs as those flying on the mainline carriers; in the case of Flight 3407, our loved ones were betrayed by a code share agreement between Colgan (now re-branded under the Endeavor Air umbrella), and Continental (now conveniently operating under the United name) that did not live up to this principle.

As we head into this reauthorization process, our mission is twofold; first, to preserve the hard-fought safety advances already made as a result of the landmark regional airline safety legislation passed in 2010, and secondly, to further those initiatives in the legislation as well as the recommendations made in the NTSB final report that have not yet been fully implemented, such as the Pilot Records Database.”

Tuesday’s hearing, expected to focus on the nation’s Air Traffic Control system, will include some of the most powerful lobbying forces in the industry, including Airlines for America President and CEO, Nicholas Calio, representing some of the nation’s largest carriers.  It will be held at 10 a.m. in Room 2167 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

“We got a first-hand look at how convoluted the reauthorization process can be back in the spring and summer of 2010,” stated Karen Eckert of Williamsville, New York, who lost her sister Beverly Eckert, a noted 9/11 widow and activist.  “Everyone has their own agenda in terms of what they are trying to promote and what they are trying to block, all in their best interests of course, and we certainly saw some of the heaviest hitters when it comes to influencing the process in full effect.  We certainly cannot match the financial wherewithal of some of these powerful entities, but no one has a cause as pure as ours, and hopefully Senator Thune and Congressman Shuster will do the right thing and make sure that safety is the top priority at every turn as this sweeping legislation is drafted.”

Contact:      Takla Boujaoude     takla.3407@gmail.com   716-907-2425