Fischer and Johanns look to help improve Scottsbluff airport fli - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Fischer and Johanns look to help improve Scottsbluff airport flight cancellations

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U.S. Senators Mike Johanns and Deb Fischer today wrote Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta requesting he address recent FAA rule changes that have led to canceled flights in Nebraska.

Huerta is scheduled to testify tomorrow before the Senate Commerce Committee, where Fischer will have the opportunity to question him directly.

Western Nebraska Regional Airport in Scottsbluff was averaging four flights a day, but is now struggling to complete a single flight in recent weeks because of changes to training and cumulative flight hour requirements for pilots. Officials with the airport and the airport's main carrier are concerned about meeting demand for air travel under the changes.

"The safety of airline crews and travelers are of the utmost importance," the Senators write. "It is also important that rules and regulations designed to improve safety do not unnecessarily burden the communities and industries most affected by the new standards."

A recent aviation accident rightly prompted an examination of airline safety standards, but these new standards may unnecessarily burden smaller carriers and regional airports by creating a shortage of pilots.

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