01.13.21

SCHUMER, DURING FIRST MEETING WITH PRESIDENT-ELECT BIDEN’S DOT NOMINEE, PETE BUTTIGIEG, CALLS FOR FAA TO FINALLY IMPLEMENT OVERDUE AIRLINE SAFETY REFORM AND ESTABLISH ELECTRONIC PILOT TRAINING DATABASE; SENATOR MAKES SAFER SKIES A TOP PRIORITY FOR NEW ADMINISTRATION & INCOMING TRANSPORTATION CHIEF, EVEN BEFORE PRESIDENT-ELECT TAKES OFFICE

Legislation Passed in 2010 Required the FAA to Establish an Electronic Pilot Records Database So Airlines Can Access Complete Training Background of All Commercial Pilots Before They Are Hired

Senator Urges Expedited Implementation Of Decade-Overdue Database To Boost Safety Of Air Travel, Ensuring Security Of NY Skies Are A Top Priority For The Incoming Administration 

Schumer To DOT Nominee: Failure to Implement Database Needlessly Puts Lives at Risk

Nearly 12 years after the tragic crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer last month, in a virtual meeting with President-Elect Biden’s nominee for Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, called for the nominee to urge the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to swiftly implement the long-overdue electronic Pilot Records Database, which was authorized by Congress in the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010 but is still in its final stages of review at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) over a decade later. Schumer explained that the database will detail the training background of all commercial pilots, giving airlines full access to training records when they are recruiting and hiring pilots.

“Nearly 12 years to the anniversary of the Flight 3407 tragedy, the FAA still has yet to establish a new pilot training database that will give specific information on the training of all commercial airline pilots,” said Senator Schumer. “Our skies are safer today than ever before because the Flight 3407 families united as one and spearheaded a movement to pass life-saving commercial airline regulations just like this one, which is why I pushed for nominee Buttigieg to ensure that the pilot training database is implemented ASAP and make air safety a top priority in the new administration. I will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the 3407 Families until we get every element of their life-saving agenda across the finish line.”

"This pilot record database is the final remaining initiative from the 2010 Aviation Safety Act to be implemented, and we have been working hard with FAA and DOT over the past few years to push this over the finish line,” stated John Kausner of Clarence Center, who lost his daughter Ellyce in the crash. "It is great to hear that Senator Schumer is being proactive in meeting with key members of the Biden administration to ensure that there is no slippage during the transition process in getting this critical rulemaking finalized.  It is imperative that every airline has full access to a pilot's entire training history during the hiring process, which likely would have prevented the tragedy of Flight 3407 in the first place."

The tragic February 2009 crash of Continental Flight 3407 near Buffalo, New York claimed 50 lives and alerted the nation to the shortfalls in our aviation safety system, particularly at the regional airline level. In the wake of the tragedy, Schumer worked with the Western New York delegation and the families who lost loved ones in the crash, to pass the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010. This landmark aviation safety legislation sought to address many of the factors contributing to the increasing safety gap between regional and mainline carriers by requiring the FAA to develop regulations to improve safety, including enhanced entry-level pilot training and qualification standards, pilot fatigue rules, airline pilot training and safety management programs, and through the creation of an electronic Pilot Records Database.

An audit by the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General revealed that the FAA had missed several deadlines mandated by the 2010 Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act – including the development of the pilot records database, which would ensure airlines have access to pilots' safety records. Schumer urged nominee Buttigieg to see to it that the FAA works with OMB to implements this critical reform without any further delay.

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