The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published its proposal to amend the current EU rules on flight and duty time limitations, as well as rest requirements for commercial air transport operations. The proposed rules, issued on October 1, contain more than 30 safety improvements compared with current requirements and introduce new limitations to the way crews can be scheduled.
The draft opinion document focuses on the premise that fatigue is one of the main factors affecting human performance. The opinion includes no provision for increased pilot flight hours. 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. EASA said it gathered data from more than 50 scientific studies that included all stakeholders including flight and cabin crew organizations, airlines and member state representatives.
The opinion document must now be finalized by the European Commission and 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.