13-Sep-2010 9:25 AM

FAA proposes sweeping new rule to fight pilot fatigue

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Randy Babbitt announced (10-Sep-2010) a proposal to fight fatigue among commercial pilots by setting new flight time, duty and rest requirements based on fatigue science. Currently, there are different rest requirements for domestic, international and unscheduled flights. The proposed rule would eliminate these distinctions. The proposed rule would establish a new method for measuring a pilot’s rest period, so that the pilot can have the chance to receive at least eight hours of sleep during that rest period. Cumulative fatigue would be addressed by placing weekly and 28-day limits on the amount of time a pilot may be assigned any type of duty. Additionally, 28-day and annual limits would be placed on flight time. Pilots would have to be given at least 30 consecutive hours free from duty on a weekly basis, a 25% increase over the current rules. [more - FAA] [more - ALPA] [more - RAA] [more - US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation] [more - NATA]

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