Eleanor Holmes Norton Calls for Aviation Safety Hearing
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) called for an aviation safety hearing following Tuesday’s emergency landing of a Southwest Airlines flight that killed a passenger and an investigation over the weekend by 60 Minutes on airline safety. Norton, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and its Subcommittee on Aviation, noted that while the fatality was the first on a U.S. airline since 2009, and the first-ever fatality on a Southwest Airlines flight, the occurrence of an in-flight fatality unnerves the public. On Sunday, a 60 Minutes investigation found that between January 2016 and October 2017, Allegiant Airlines experienced more than 100 serious mechanical incidents, including mid-air engine failures, smoke and fumes in the cabin, rapid descents, flight control malfunctions, hydraulic leaks, aborted takeoffs, and emergency landings. “Faced with serious evidence of airline safety concerns, I believe it would be prudent to hold a hearing on airline safety before reauthorizing the FAA,” Norton said. “Congress has an obligation to assert its oversight role if, for no other reason, to assure the millions of Americans who fly every year that airlines are adhering to the highest safety standards. It is particularly important that Congress look into low-cost carriers, like Allegiant Airlines, which may be ignoring serious safety concerns in order to turn a profit.” More here.