FAA Passes Rule to Keep away from Pilot Sleepiness

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By Lauren Russ

In December, the Federal Aviation Administration passed a ruling that will require commercial passenger airlines to limit the amount of time that pilots are allowed to fly. For decades, safety advocacy groups have been urging the FAA to update its rules on pilot perform schedules. Past efforts have failed, largely since airlines and pilot unions could not agree on alterations to pilot work schedules. But the new FAA ruling passed, giving pilots far more time to rest among flights.

The FAA named the new ruling a "major safety achievement," and it passed in huge element due to the passionate and constant lobbying of the households of the people today who died when Continental Airlines Flight 3407 crashed into a home just five minutes short of Buffalo-Niagara International Airport in February 2009. Following a National Transportation Safety Board investigation, the board found that the accident was due in component to pilot fatigue.

Components of the new FAA ruling consist of:The length of time a pilot is allowed to fly depends on when the pilot's day begins, and the quantity of flight segments he or she is expected to fly, and ranges from nine to 14 hours for single crew operations.

Flight time when the plane is moving under its personal power prior to, throughout or following flight is limited to eight or nine hours, based on the commence time of the pilot's whole flight duty period. Pilots must have a ten-hour minimal rest period prior to the flight duty period - a two-hour boost over the old rules. The new rule requires that pilots have an opportunity for eight hours of uninterrupted sleep within the 10-hour rest period.

The rule also locations 28-day and annual limits on a pilots flight time. It also calls for that pilots have at least 30 consecutive hours totally free from duty on a weekly basis, a 25 percent improve more than the old guidelines. The FAA expects pilots and airlines to function together to figure out if a pilot is fit for duty, or not. Before any flight, a pilot is necessary to affirmatively state that he or she is fit for duty.

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