Saturday, January 18, 2014

Johanns, Fischer send letter to Federal Aviation Administration regarding canceled flights

Our two U.S. Senators are working together to address FAA issues that have recently been plaguing smaller regional airports.

Senator Mike Johanns says he and Senator Deb Fischer sent a letter to the FAA administrator this week,to discuss recent rule changes that are making it difficult for smaller airports –like the one in Scottsbluff – to meet demand.

In Scottsbluff, the Western Nebraska Regional airport has canceled hundreds of flights since the new FAA regulations went into effect.

"In Scottsbluff, which is just an example, the airport was averaging four flights a day. Wonderful airport. Now following FAA rules regarding training and flight hours, the airport is struggling to complete a single flight because of pilot shortages," Johanns said.

Johanns says he understands safety of crews and airline passengers is a top priority, but the new regulations on pilot flight hours are making it difficult for regional airports to operate at all.

"Unfortunately what is happening is we're having flights canceled because we cant get a pilot, and I just worry that near the end of the year we're going to see that we don't have enough enplanements at the airports, which has real serious financial consequences."

Johanns says he has also been approached by people from Alliance and McCook who have complained about similar issues at their regional airports.


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