House passes bill to boost commuter airline safety

WASHINGTON - (AP) - The House has passed far-reaching aviationsafety legislation developed in response to a deadly commuterairline crash in western New York last year.

The safety measures were approved without opposition lateThursday, with Senate action expected on Friday.

The bill is an attempt to force airlines to hire moreexperienced pilots, investigate their previous employment morethoroughly and train them better. It also would require the FederalAviation Administration to overhaul regulations governing pilotwork schedules.

The bill's impetus was the crash of a Continental Connectionflight near Buffalo on Feb. 12, 2009. All 49 people aboard and oneman in a house were killed.

An investigation faulted actions by the flight's pilots.

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