Chao to 3407 Families: Pilot Training Rules Will Stay Put

Transportation secretary says she'll address pilot record database

Tom Puckett
April 18, 2019 - 4:00 am

Brendan Keany

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Family members of Flight 3407 victims and Congressman Chris Collins met with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao Wednesday. Collins says family members should be reassured following the two hour meeting.

"We were with her for two hours, which was unheard of," says Collins. "She listened, and she knew the backstory of every person in attendance. We had 12 family members at the meeting." Collins says the key takeaway was there would be no change to the 1,500 hour training requirement for pilots unless Congress acts. "That I know is something we will never do," adds Collins. "It was a big sigh of relief when Chao said she would not touch those requirements."

Another big issue is the pilot database, which has yet to come out. "There was frustration shared on both sides, and Secretary Chao agreed she would personally take this under her wing to find out why, after nine years, we don't have it fully released," says Collins. "It was unanimously agreed it was time to get that database released," and Collins notes Chao had the head of the FAA with her as well.

Collins says Chao sent a message: safety first. "Making sure they have the public trust, whether it's 3407 or the Boeing Max 8. The FAA will continue to be the gold standard around the world. What these families suffered ten years ago doesn't happen again," says Collins. 

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