Congressman Smith says flexibility is needed in FAA regulations - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Congressman Smith says flexibility is needed in FAA regulations for regional airports

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Great Lakes Airlines is struggling to serve the panhandle's regional airports.
 
Several Great Lakes flights were cancelled out of the Alliance and Chadron airports earlier this week.

Those flights are just few of hundreds that have been cancelled in the past couple months since new Federal Aviation Administration regulations took place.

"There are basically two policies that have led to this situation that we have. One is increasing the hours of qualification, flying time for co-pilots, but then the other was this 'rest period' that flies in the face of flexibility."

Congressman Adrian Smith says Great Lakes is currently going through an application process seeking more flexibility.

"As a central air service, I think we could stand to look at some reforms," Smith said. "I understand the need for it, obviously. Many other communities around rural America understand the need for air transporation for business, and economic development, various things. So we see a value there."

But Smith says some there are some questions that need to be answered from places other than congress, such as what types of planes the air service plans to operate with in the future.

"They don't make the 'Beach 19s' anymore like they're using right now. I think they are safe aircrafts, but the fact that they don't use them anymore speaks to what are the options down the road." 

Smith says the solution to the issue is not one sided, although he admitted he did find flexibility that was "rather arbitrarily placed" in the new regulations, and says he looks forward to seeing better policy relating to that. 

 

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