Pilot Fatigue Rules Delayed Until New Year

 - December 4, 2009, 3:19 AM

The FAA has acknowledged that new rules governing fatigue for Part 121 pilots are still a work in progress, despite the labors of the flight- and duty-time limitations and rest requirements aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) chartered by FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt in June. FAA associate administrator for aviation safety Margaret Gilligan told the Senate aviation subcommittee on Tuesday that the ARC “has provided a framework” and “we are prepared to make those decisions to fill in the details.” She promised that the agency will have a completed proposal by the first of the year. However, before the final product can be made public as a notice of proposed rulemaking, it still must be approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In the past, both agencies have missed federally mandated deadlines for giving the green light on new regulations, often exceeding 90 days each. “We are all frustrated,” Gilligan said. “It has taken longer than any of us wanted or expected.”