New work rules governing occupational safety and health conditions for cabin crew will become effective September 26. The new rules will apply to anyone working aboard any aircraft that legally requires a cabin crewmember, whether operating under Part 121, 135 or 91 rules.
The new policy is based upon a proposal the agency published last December that drew nearly 200 industry comments. The comments fell into two discernable groups: union members in favor of the changes; and airlines, along with their trade associations, generally opposed to them.
The FAA considered the negative comments in a number of areas from airline groups and modified some of the new policy based on those suggestions. For example, Southwest Airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) requested that the FAA and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration provide clarification regarding enforcement boundaries on board the aircraft. The FAA agreed and said specific procedures for addressing OSHA enforcement protocols will be developed through interagency collaboration. There has been no indication how enforcement issues will be handled aboard Part 91-operated aircraft.
The FAA did not, however, agree to ALPA’s request that airline pilots and their working environments be included in the new policy.