WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — The above video is from September 2018.
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved an amendment sponsored by Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) using the appropriations process to respond to the failure of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to assure greater safety on commercial balloon flights.
Rep. Doggett's amendment transferred $7.8 million from the FAA's finance and management account to the aviation safety account.
According to Rep. Doggett's office, this comes as the FAA continues to refuse to comply with and implement Section 318 of the FAA Reauthorization, which was signed into law on Oct. 5, 2018. That law resulted from a prior Rep. Doggett amendment that requires medical certificates for commercial balloon pilots.
These efforts by Rep. Doggett were prompted by the July 30, 2016, hot air balloon crash near Lockhart, Texas, which killed 16 people. It is the largest balloon crash in American history and the nation's worst aviation disaster since 2009, according to Rep. Doggett's office.
“Every day of inexplicable FAA inaction risks another devastating crash,” Rep. Doggett said. “We cannot bring these precious lives back, but swift action could prevent future losses. I authored this amendment in another effort to get the FAA to take the safety of American families – and our law – seriously."
"Only this past weekend, a non-commercial hot air balloon crash at a Missouri festival demonstrated related dangers and the need for medically-fit pilots," Rep. Doggett added. "Long past time for the FAA to just do its job!"
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