On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump took credit for creating policies that led to the lack of commercial airline crashes in 2017.
“Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation,” Trump tweeted. “Good news - it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!”
But there’s a major problem with Trump taking credit for that achievement — it was global, and not specific to the United States.
A U.S. airline hasn’t had a commercial plane crash since 2009 — when there were two crashes in the country. The first of the 2009 plane crashes was on Jan. 15 of that year, when Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger successfully landed a commercial airplane on the Hudson River with no fatalities — a crash now known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”
The next was on Feb. 12, 2009, when Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed in New York on its way to Buffalo. All 49 passengers aboard that regional jet died, as did one person on the ground. That crash led to new airline safety regulations requiring rest and better training for pilots.
Since then, there have been plane crashes from other global airlines, including the infamous disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, which remains a mystery to this day.
The fact is, Trump can’t take credit for such a global achievement. In fact, after he signed an executive order in January 2017 to cut down on the number or federal regulations, the FAA created a task force to find regulations to kill. One of the regulations that task force wants to kill requires stricter training in the aftermath of the Colgan Air crash.
The other major commercial airline regulation from the Trump administration killed transparency requirements that force airlines to disclose baggage fees to customers early in the ticket booking process.