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Europe adopts new Flight Time Limitations (FTL) regulations
9 October 2013
(photo © European Union 2011 PE-EP)

Europe adopts new Flight Time Limitations (photo © European Union 2011 PE-EP)

The European Parliament adopted the European Commission proposal to harmonise flight and duty time limitations (FTL) for cabin crew and pilots across the European Union.

This European Commission proposal is based on an EASA Opinion. Amongst others, night flight duty will be reduced to 11 hours in the new regulation, instead of 11h45 previously. More flights will be considered night flights and subject to shorter duty periods. Total flight time in 12 consecutive months will  be limited to 1000 hours instead of 1300  hours. The weekly rest will be increased by 12 hours twice a month. The combination of standby at the airport with flight duty will be capped at 16 hours. It is currently 20 hours or 26 hours, or even without limit at all in some EU Member States.

The European Cockpit Association (ECA), along with other flight crew unions, was opposed to the proposal.  ECA President Voorbach stated: “The proposal still contains dangerous safety loopholes. They will allow pilots to land a plane – full of passengers – after being 22 hours awake. It also allows pilots to fly for 12hrs30 through the night. This is up to 25% longer than the 10 hours unanimously recommended by scientists.”

On September 30, 2013, the European Parliament’s transport committee had voted against new flight time limitation measures. In a plenary vote, the European Parliament voted in favour of the new rules.

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