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Pilots state FAA's proposed flight and duty rules 'step backward'

17-Sep-2010 11:14 AM

Allied Pilots Association (APA) labelled (16-Sep-2010) some of the Federal Aviation Administration's proposed new flight and duty time regulations for pilots as "a big step backwards" and urged the FAA to rework certain key provisions. APA's President Captain David Bates cited the proposed new rest requirements for pilots as "insufficient". Under the proposed new rule, all pilots, both domestic and international, would be allotted a minimum of nine hours. [more]

APA:In APA's view, any change in the rules must be designed to enhance safety. We are pleased that the FAA has undertaken the long-overdue process of reviewing and revising flight and duty time rules for commercial airline pilots. However, we urge the FAA to re-examine the rationale for some of the proposed changes. While some of the FAA's proposed new rules would enhance safety, others would represent a big step backwards. In APA's view, any change in the rules must be designed to enhance safety. For example, the FAA's proposal to reduce total time on duty during back-side-of-the-clock operations clearly meets that standard. Unfortunately, there are some important areas where the proposed new rules fall well short and instead appear to be catering to industry cost-cutting pressures. The FAA has proposed increasing the maximum allowable time that pilots can spend at the controls to as many as 10 hours. The current limit is eight hours. There is no scientific basis or validation for a 25% increase in maximum flight time for pilots. Common sense dictates that increasing flight time limits will increase pilot fatigue, in turn degrading the margin of safety." Captain David Bates, President of APA. Source: Company statement.