WASHINGTON - The Obama administration held a "call to action" on aviation safety on Monday - and what that really means that is if the regional airlines don't act, the FAA will call them on it.
FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt calls what the airlines are now facing "bright light voluntary" safety measures.
In other words, the airlines will have to comply or else see their name advertised in bright lights. And it's all because of the crash of Continental Flight 3407 in Clarence on Feb. 12.
Most notably, the FAA will direct airlines to seek the flight records of their prospective pilots, which will require them to ask job candidates to sign a privacy waiver. By October, airlines that refuse to do that will be publicized, Babbitt said.
And beyond that, the FAA plans to seek tougher - and mandatory - rules governing when and how much pilots can fly.
It sounds like tough government action, but the families of the victims of Flight 3407 are not so sure about the "voluntary" safety measures.
"We cannot emphasize enough that our recent experience gives us little faith in the airlines' ability to self-monitor or their willingness to comply with voluntary recommendations," the families said in a letter to Babbitt that instead suggested legislation to boost aviation safety.
So what do you think: Are these "bright light voluntary" safety measures enough to make sure that regional airlines are as safe as the major carriers?
--- Jerry Zremski