Wicker Opening Statement During Airline Safety Hearing

March 27, 2019

WASHINGTON  U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today delivered the following statement during the Aviation and Space Subcommittee hearing titled, “The State of Airline Safety: Federal Oversight of Commercial Aviation.” The hearing examined challenges to the state of commercial aviation safety, including the specific concerns highlighted by recent accidents. The subcommittee heard from a panel of government witnesses on ways to improve the safety of the commercial air transportation system.

Excerpt from Chairman Wicker’s opening statement, as delivered, below:

The remarkable safety record of U.S. passenger airline travel is a testament to decades of hard work and painful lessons learned by a great many stakeholders.   

Today’s hearing represents the beginning of this year’s work in this area. The committee intends to hold a second hearing on aviation safety to hear from non-government witnesses, including Boeing. 

We understand that the investigations into the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes are ongoing and may limit certain details from being discussed in this forum. However, our witnesses can cover a lot of information today, including addressing the FAA’s response to these tragedies, the certification process, pilot training, and broader concerns about the increasing complexity and automation of aircraft systems.  

The FAA has long been considered the “gold standard” internationally when it comes to safety. It is vital that we work with our partners throughout the world to promote safe air transportation. 

The committee will continue to discuss robust oversight to ensure the safety of our aviation system.