Non-profit aviation safety organization Medallion Foundation to close doors

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Board of Directors of the Medallion Foundation, an Alaska non-profit aviation safety organization, says that due to an decrease in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration it will be closing its doors on Sept. 15 after 17 years.

The press release announcing the closure also cites a change of "language that may place the Medallion Foundation in the position of being used as an instrument to take action against air carriers who are voluntarily participating" in its programs.

The board of directors says it met on Aug. 9 to discuss a memorandum of understanding sent to the Medallion Foundation from the FAA.

"It is with deep regret and sadness that the Board of Directors find the funding insufficient to continue operations and will not agree to these terms in the new Memorandum of Understanding," states the press release.

The release writes that it is "unfortunate" that Alaska carriers won't be able to access the safety programs that the foundation provides, such as training classes, simulators, TapRoot accident investigation, tourism safety videos, and maintenance, among other services.

According to its website, the Medallion Foundation was formed "from an infamous legacy of too many aircraft accidents and fatalities in Alaska."

Original appropriations secured by Sen. Ted Stevens allowed it to buy seven flight simulators. The foundation's website cites a CDC study that claims that accidents in commercial air carriers in Alaska declined by 57 percent between 2000 and 2009.

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