New US Pilot Fatigue Rules Published - Despite Intense Industry Opposition
Yesterday, the US Federal Aviation Administration announced the publication of new safety rules, aimed at ensuring that pilot fatigue – due to long duty hours, insufficient rest/sleep opportunities, etc. – does not endanger flight operations.
The new rules were preceded by a fierce battle with the airline industry. US operators strongly lobbied against stricter rules, claiming they would allegedly cost them billions of dollars. As a result, all-cargo operators are excluded from the new rules. However, the US political establishment backed the FAA in its defence of a comprehensive set of science-based rules, which will now apply to the large majority of operations.
“When EASA issued its proposal for EU fatigue rules, one year ago, it disregarded decades of scientific evidence and produced a rule-set that would lower safety standards in many EU countries.”