WASHINGTON – A pilot record database – designed to prevent airlines from hiring incompetent pilots – moved one step closer to becoming law Friday, as the Federal Aviation Administration published the proposed rule governing the database in the Federal Register.
The database is the last uncompleted safety measure stemming from a 2010 law Congress passed in reaction to the February 2009 crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 in Clarence, which claimed 50 lives.
The FAA's move opens a 90-day public comment period that must be completed before the database can begin operation.
“This proposed rule would enhance aviation safety by assisting air carriers in making informed hiring and personnel management decisions using the most accurate and complete pilot records available and electronically accessible," the FAA said.
Technical and privacy issues stalled the creation of the database, but the Families of Continental Flight 3407 kept pushing for it, as did Rep. Brian Higgins, a Buffalo Democrat, and other lawmakers who represent metro Buffalo.
"Some fights don't come easy," Higgins said. "We look forward to having the Pilot Record Database in place, delivering greater transparency, accountability and ultimately safer skies for the flying public.”