EU Pilot Fatigue Proposal Does not Go Far Enough

18/01/2012

The new proposal for EU-wide pilot fatigue rules, issued today, stops half way to protect air passengers against the safety risks associated with fatigued pilots. Despite a number of improvements compared to the previous proposal (Dec. 2010), the new text does not follow scientific evidence on a number of important issues, in particular where the airlines’ commercial interest would be hurt. Money considerations outweigh safety considerations – yet again!

Examples: The proposed rules on standby fall short of what can be considered safe. Night flight time is set at 11 hrs despite unanimous scientific support for 10 hrs. The 14-day duty limit is set at a level that pleases mainly the airlines. And the fatiguing effect of long duty days with multiple take-offs and landings are insufficiently reflected in the new proposal , despite clear scientific evidence on where to set the limits. – Europe must do better!