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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release April 14, 1998
                          VICE PRESIDENT GORE 
                      TO CUT FATAL CRASHES BY 80%, 
                        SAVE HUNDREDS OF LIVES

                New Plan Will Expand Engine Inspections 
          and Improve Pilots' Warning and Detection Systems

Washington, DC--Vice President Gore announced a new aviation safety agenda that will expand engine inspections and improve pilots' warning and detection systems, reducing accidents by 80 percent over the next 10 years and saving hundreds and hundreds of lives.

"The steps we are announcing today will make the safest skies in the world even safer," Vice President Gore said. "By targeting and preventing the leading causes of fatalities and injuries, by expanding engine inspections, and by improving pilots' warning and detection systems, we will significantly reduce the number of plane crashes, and save hundreds and hundreds of lives."

Speaking at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport along with Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater, and Federal Aviation Administrator Jane F. Garvey, the Vice President announced Safer Skies -- A Focused Agenda. Under this initiative designed to zero in on the leading causes of crashes, fatalities and injuries, special teams of technical experts will focus on the leading causes of accidents in three areas: commercial airlines, general aviation and cabin safety.

Specifically, this new plan will require more rigorous checks on planes' critical engine parts to reduce the chances of engine failure and make it mandatory for virtually all commercial planes to be equipped with new terrain avoidance systems to warn pilots when a plane is getting dangerously close to the ground.

     year, airlines will get FAA instructions on how to conduct more 
     rigorous check on critical engine parts.  These engine checks 
     will be required by FAA rule by the end of this year.

     NEW TERRAIN AVOIDANCE SYSTEMS: Currently, terrain avoidance 
     systems have been installed into plans on a voluntary basis.  
     By 2001, the FAA will mandate that virtually all commercial 
     aircrafts install these detection systems.

     Vice President Gore led the White House Commission on Aviation 

Safety and Security, which developed recommendations for how to make airline travel safer in response to President Clinton's call to make airline travel safer for all Americans.

After six months of study and input from a wide range of experts, the Vice President submitted a list of recommendations to President Clinton focusing on aviation security -- putting the most advanced explosive detection systems in all of the nation's major airports -- and flight safety -- setting a goal of reducing the rate of fatal accidents by 80 percent over the next ten years.

A subsequent commission, the National Civil Aviation Review Commission, advised the FAA on how to achieve the President's goals using the latest technology to help analyze U.S. and global data to find the root causes of accidents and determine the best actions to break the chain of events that lead to accidents.