EDITORIAL: Blumenthal pushes for air safety in wake of Connecticut crashes

EDITORIAL: Blumenthal pushes for air safety in wake of Connecticut crashes


Connecticut’s U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling for more stringent standards and improved enforcement from The Federal Aviation Administration to help ensure safer air travel. The move is a response to eight small plane crashes in Connecticut in a year, with six fatalities. Those deaths include that of Joseph Tomanelli, a Cheshire physician who was killed in a crash near Meriden-Markham Airport on April 24. His 21-year-old son, Daniel Tomanelli, was seriously injured.

Blumenthal is calling on the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate pilot training, maintenance and other measures.

“They have the power,” Blumenthal recently said. “We’re demanding action under existing authority, and responsibility to set higher standards and improve enforcement.”

The senator had praise for the FAA and the commercial aviation industry in general, saying it’s among the safest in the world, but his call for improvements in general aviation makes sense considering the recent crashes.

“General aviation presents a troubling tale that consists of hundreds of deadly crashes each year, including a half dozen in Connecticut,” he said.

Along with increased training, Blumenthal would like better aircraft maintenance and more medical vetting. He would like to see the dozen aviation safety recommendations submitted to the FAA satisfied.

These are reasonable measures, and they appear to have some support. “Certainly, anything to increase safety is a great idea,” Connie Castillo, airport manager at Meriden-Markham Airport, told the Record-Journal.

Increased safety is always a good recommendation, and Blumenthal’s measures appear more preventative than punitive. In the interest of greater aviation safety, they’re worth implementing.

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