Skies still safe following MH17 disaster, lawmakers say

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration cancelled flights to Tel Aviv, Israel after a rocket landed too close to the airport. This latest news comes off the heels of downed Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

Now lawmakers are saying passenger safety is the number one priority in the skies.

“There are enough things to be fearful of in this world without starting to think if ‘I get on this plane is it going to be shot down.’ It isn’t so, so unusual,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said.

Brown says he doesn’t think the Malaysia Airlines attack should change the way Americans feel about air travel, or how the nation patrols the skies.

“I don’t think it means changing what we are doing with air safety in this country,” Brown said. “Planes crash at very small numbers, thousands of flights every day in this country, the millions of passenger miles every day — something like this happens in Ukraine, it’s not going to happen here,” Brown said.

But Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey (D) says the attack will certainly have a lasting impact.

“It’s going to be like everything else that involves terrorism or warfare, it will change, to a certain extent, all of our lives,” Casey said.

Casey says he’s concerned, saying “this is the world we live in.”

Right now, it’s a world that has some senators revisiting the same debate they had after September 11, 2001.

Casey says they’re considering, “whether or not passenger aircraft need to have additional technology or capability to be able to evade those kinds of attacks.”

While lawmakers are talking about international air travel safety, they say they have full confidence that workers at the Department of Defense and the FAA are doing everything necessary to keep the skies safe.

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