New bill would require operating carrier to be identified

Washington DC
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New York Senator Chuck Schumer has introduced legislation to require airline ticket vendors to identify which carrier will operate each flight segment.

The legislation comes on the heels of a fatal Colgan Air Bombardier Q400 crash in which Colgan flew on behalf of Continental Airlines.

Several congressional leaders have raised concerns during regional aviation saftey hearings held since the crash that passengers purchase tickets based on the assumption that they will travel on aircraft operated by experienced mainline pilots and not aircraft from regional partners operated by less experienced crew.

The bill has been read twice and referred to the Senate commerce, science and transportation committee.

Corresponding legislation has not yet been introduced in the House.

On 12 February, a Colgan Q400 stalled and went out of control on approach to Buffalo, New York. The aircraft crashed into a house about 9km (5nm) from the airport, killing all 49 on board and one person on the ground.

Regional airlines' first officers have, on average, 3,075 flight hours and captains have, on average, 8,571 flight hours, according to the Regional Airline Association (RAA).

The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) does not have a formal position on the legislation, a spokesman for the organization says.