Regional Airlines Squarely in Lawmakers’ Crosshairs

Fallout from the crash of the Colgan Air Q400 is bringing down greater scrutiny on the regional airline industry. Four senators have called for the Inspector General of the Transportation Department to investigate safety within the industry. Their focus is on crew rest, compensation, training and other safety issues-all brought into question as part of the NTSB investigation into the crash. A series of hearings on industry standards is scheduled to start next month. Newly confirmed FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt weighed in on the topic during his nomination hearings. After questioning him during the confirmation hearings, New York Senator Charles Schumer said Babbitt is "passionate about pilot fatigue." The new FAA Administrator is the former head of the Air Line Pilots Association.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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