The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) and NBAA released the 2014 version of their duty/rest guidelines for business aviation at last week’s FSF Business Aviation Safety Seminar (BASS) in San Diego. The new guidelines update the original 1997 document and were drawn up “principally to consider scientific advances [in sleep research] in the intervening 17 years and to identify how those advances should influence today’s recommended practices for duty and rest scheduling.”
The new document offers general and business aviation operators a summary of accepted operational and safety goals equivalent to the major airline’s recently adopted Part 117 and helps flight departments determine whether the current guidelines still provide the expected safety margins.
The new FSF/NBAA is not, however, regulatory. With advancements in fatigue management practices since 1997, the guide is expected to help operators understand where duty/rest guidelines fit into their overall fatigue management efforts and better understand what to do if an operator is required to operate outside of the guidelines.
The duty/rest guidelines were updated with input from a U.S.-based scientific panel experienced in laboratory research, medicine and operational research, as well as regulatory development and operational design. Aviation industry leaders from around the world served as observers.