Chairman Rockefeller's Statement on the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010

July 28, 2010

Chairman RockefellerWASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, issued the following statement about the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization extension would reauthorize the FAA through September 30, 2010 and implement critical aviation safety and pilot training improvement measures. Senate action on the extension is expected in the coming days.

Chairman Rockefeller’s statement on the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010 follows:

“Improving airline safety for American travelers has always been one of my top priorities. The families of the victims of Flight 3407 have my full support in demanding one level of safety among all air carriers—large and small. The extension I’ve negotiated takes a big step forward in improving the safety of our skies—it will boost pilot training programs, combat pilot fatigue, and dramatically increase requirements for pilots of passenger airlines to have more flying experience by mandating a minimum of 1,500 hours—up from 250 hours currently—before they can fly commercial aircraft.

“I am disappointed that a few parochial concerns have stalled progress on a significant FAA package that will support thousands of jobs, strengthen airline safety, modernize America’s outdated air traffic control system with satellite-based navigation – which is sorely needed – and which will fundamentally transform aviation safety.

"Rest assured, I will keep fighting and push for passage of this comprehensive and important bill that will lead to a better aviation system for all Americans.”