CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — In a bipartisan effort, Congressmen Brian Higgins (D) and Nick Langworthy (R) came together at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport on Monday to address SkyWest Airlines.
Along with families of the Flight 3407 victims, Higgins and Langworthy spoke out against the airline, which they say is trying to bypass pilot training standards, “including the 1,500-hour rule” — the FAA rule that requires pilots in the U.S. and Canada to have a certain amount of time in the air before performing air carrier operations.
“FAA funding and authorities are scheduled to expire this year and reauthorization is currently before Congress,” Higgins’ office said.
SkyWest has released a statement on the matter:
“SkyWest’s first and foremost priority is safety. We want to be abundantly clear: SkyWest has requested no regulation changes, including to the ‘1500-hour rule’. SkyWest has long been a leader in aviation safety and continues its efforts to raise the bar for safety across both Part 121 and Part 135 operations. As we implement a Part 135 operation under well-established guidelines, SkyWest Charter has the resources, standards, and operational expertise available to provide this service better than any carrier operating under Part 135 today, with jet aircraft and experienced senior pilots.”SkyWest Airlines
The House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will have a hearing on FAA authorization Wednesday morning.
You can watch the full press conference below.
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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.