New aircrew fatigue rules
The European Parliament has agreed to introduce new flight and duty time limitations for commercial flights.
The controversial proposals were rejected by the European Parliament’s Transport Committee and condemned by pilots' associations, including UK's BALPA, but were passed by the Parliament on 9 October.
The EC explains that the purpose of the new legislation is to clarify and improve current regulations on flight and duty time limitations (FTL), taking into account latest scientific and technical evidence.
The proposals include over 30 provisions aimed at improving crew protection against fatigue and offering safer and better working conditions - including issues such as in-flight rest for cabin crew, and strict limits on night flights, standby and reserve.
The new legislation includes:
- reduction of flight duty time at night by 45 minutes (maximum 11h instead of 11h45)
- reduction of maximum number of flying hours from 1,300 to 1,000 in 12 consecutive months
- increase of weekly rest by 12 hours (2 days instead of 1½ day) twice a month
- grant of up to 5 days of rest at home base in case of significant time zone crossing (instead of 2 days or less)
- reduction of the maximum duty time (standby + flight time) in case of airport standby (16h instead of typically 26-28h)
The Commission will now formally enact the Regulation - expected to come into force at end 2013 and to be fully applicable 2 years later.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and member states will run a continuous assessment of the new FTL regime, based on operational data - with a first report due no later than 3 years after the date of application of the rules.
Details from the websites below . .