FAA to Pilots: Avoid Cockpit Distractions

 - April 27, 2010, 3:55 PM

While directed at the airlines, the FAA’s call yesterday for operators to create and enforce policies that will limit distractions in the cockpit and keep pilots focused on transporting passengers safely also applies to the business aviation world. “There is no room for distraction when your job is to get people safely to their destinations,” said DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. “The traveling public expects professional pilots to focus on flying and on safety at all times.” The FAA also issued Information for Operators 10003 to remind crewmembers and operators that any cockpit distraction that diverts attention from required duties can “constitute a safety risk.” This includes the use of personal electronic devices–such as laptop computers, netbooks and e-readers–for activities unrelated to flight, the FAA noted. “Every aviation professional needs to take the issue of distractions in the cockpit seriously,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “And when there are two or more professionals on the flight deck, they must hold each other to the highest safety standards. Allowing distractions is unacceptable.” In the InFO, the FAA is asking operators to address the issue of distraction through their crew training programs and to create a safety culture to control cockpit distractions.