Senator Charles Schumer is all over the city's skies. Regulating them, that is. In the wake of the Upper East Side plane crash, Senator Schumer is asking for the FAA to make more changes. His ideas? Make a "Trusted Flyer" program which would require pilots to register their planes and submit to background checks before flying in local airspace. Schumer said, "It's a little bit like E-ZPass, in a certain sense." Uh, yeah. He added, "The problem here is that the FAA is focusing on accidents - that's very important - but they neglect terrorism altogether."
Schumer also asked for more air traffic controllers, as well as restricting the Hudson River from small planes (they would need air traffic control contact) and rapid-response helicopters to "intercept any potential threat to air safety." That was our question - whether or not NYC had rapid-response anything in case of a threat. There are fighter jets that can be dispatched, but how close are they? Anyway, Schumer urged that the FAA "wake up," but in an interesting pass-the-buck move, the FAA says that the Transportation Security Administration is responsible for airspace safety. Just don't send it to Homeland Security is all we ask.
The funeral for Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, who was on the plane, is tomorrow; Yankees manager Joe Torre and general manager Brian Cashman will be there. And NBC News had an animation (stills above) of the accident - it's pretty eerie.