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EASA proposes new harmonised rules to avoid flight crew fatigue
2 October 2012

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published its proposal to amend the current EU rules on flight and duty time limitations and rest requirements (FTL) for commercial air transport.

Released in a final proposal known as an Opinion, the proposed rules contain more than 30 safety improvements compared to current requirements and introduce new limitations to the way crews can be scheduled.

The Opinion takes full account of the fact that fatigue is one of the main factors affecting human performance and makes no provision for increased pilot flight hours. On the contrary, allowed duty periods at night are reduced, rest for flights with time zone crossings is significantly increased, and new rules are introduced for limiting crew standby.

These FTL rules are the final step in a fully transparent rulemaking process, with unprecedented scientific input and public consultation. More than 50 scientific studies were analysed, while all concerned stakeholder groups including flight and cabin crew organisations, airlines, and Member State representatives were consulted throughout the process.

The Opinion will enter the legislative process. It will be finalised by the European Commission and must be approved by Member States, with Parliamentary scrutiny. The new rules are expected to be adopted into EU law after mid-2013 and fully implemented by the end of 2015.

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