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Rep. Doggett: Long Past Time for FAA to Act on Safety Reforms

October 17, 2017

Washington, D.C. Today, U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), senior member of the House Committee on Ways & Means, issued a statement on the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) findings in its investigation of the fatal 2016 hot-air balloon crash that occurred in the Congressional district he represents near Lockhart. The NTSB recommended the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) end its exemption for commercial hot-air balloon operators, requiring them to hold a medical certificate, like commercial airplane pilots. Rep. Doggett said:

“I have long pressed the FAA to strengthen balloon safety to avert another disaster. While I have a pending amendment to long-delayed FAA legislation to require medical certificates for commercial balloon operators, nothing prevents the FAA from acting now. I agree fully with the NTSB Chairman that the FAA has been ‘shirking its responsibility.’ FAA’s rejection of NTSB recommendations would condemn more unsuspecting families to death.”