What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Aviation Industry : (H.R. 658) On an amendment that would have established a special rule-making committee within the Federal Aviation Administration to recommend regulations ensuring that aircrafts are properly equipped with technology that maintains pilot visibility when “dense, continuous smoke is present in the cockpit of the aircraft.” (The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has regulatory authority over all civil aviation in the United States.) (2011 house Roll Call 210)
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(H.R. 658) On an amendment that would have established a special rule-making committee within the Federal Aviation Administration to recommend regulations ensuring that aircrafts are properly equipped with technology that maintains pilot visibility when “dense, continuous smoke is present in the cockpit of the aircraft.” (The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has regulatory authority over all civil aviation in the United States.)
house Roll Call 210     Mar 31, 2011
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) that would have established a special rule-making committee within the Federal Aviation Administration to recommend regulations ensuring that aircrafts are properly equipped with technology that maintains pilot visibility when “dense, continuous smoke is present in the cockpit of the aircraft.” (The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has regulatory authority over all civil aviation in the United States.) This amendment was offered to legislation authorizing annual funding for the Federal Aviation Administration, and limiting the ability of federal aviation and railroad workers to form unions.

Hirono urged support for her amendment: “The basic idea of this amendment is to ensure the safety of the traveling public and those whose job it is to get them safely to their destinations, and my amendment has to do with smoke in the cockpit…. the FAA's Information for Operators Bulletin released October 6, 2010… noted that they receive over 900 reports a year of smoke or fumes in the cabin or cockpit. An average of 900 incidents in 365 days does not seem to me to be a rare occurrence. I believe that our national response to this issue has been inadequate. We need a comprehensive, up-to-date analysis of the issue and real-action next steps to protect our pilots and passengers. Therefore, I believe that my amendment is reasonable, logical, does not cost money, and it takes us toward resolving this issue.”

Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI) opposed the amendment: “We have checked with the people we as citizens pay at the FAA to develop expertise in this area, and they advise us that current safety standards are sufficient to meet the risk posed by cockpit smoke. According to our contacts, the FAA additionally believes that the existing…standards for cockpit ventilation effectively eliminate the unsafe conditions associated with smoke in the flight deck. Their current regulations require manufacturers to demonstrate that continuously generated cockpit smoke can be evacuated within 3 minutes to levels such that the residual smoke does not distract the flight crew or interfere with flight operations.”

The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 174-241. Voting “yea” were 172 Democrats and 2 Republicans. 228 Republicans and 13 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have established a special rule-making committee within the Federal Aviation Administration to recommend regulations ensuring that aircrafts are properly equipped with technology that maintains pilot visibility when “dense, continuous smoke is present in the cockpit of the aircraft.”

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