Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 2, 2013

FAA lags on fulfilling airline safety law passed after deadly Flight 3407 crash in Clarence

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Driven by the accident and the new safety law, the FAA substantially revised its rules governing pilot work schedules to better ensure pilots are rested when they fly. It was the first modification of the rules since 1985 and "a significant achievement" for the FAA, the report said.

Kuwik said he gives the FAA "a lot of credit" for revising the work schedule rules and for staying in touch with victims' family members. However, he said it's critical that the agency meet deadlines later this year for issuing new regulations on pilot training and qualifications.

"If the foot-dragging continues and missing deadlines..., the potentially significant effects of the safety bill will be lost," Kuwik said.

Responding to the report, the FAA said in a statement that more than 90 percent of air carriers now use voluntary programs in which pilots and others report safety problems with the understanding that there will be no reprisals for their conduct or computer-assisted programs that identify and report safety trends. "This has led to significant training, operational and maintenance program improvements," the statement said.

The agency also noted that it has "delivered seven reports to Congress, initiated five rulemaking projects and continued rulemaking efforts for another four final rules as a result of the" new safety law.

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