The RAA has yet to formulate an opinion on the FAA’s recently published rule governing flight and duty time scheduled to take effect in two years. The new rule, in large part instigated by the February 2009 crash of a Colgan Air Bombardier Q400, requires that pilots get at least 10 hours rest before each flight duty period–a two-hour increase over existing rules. It also places new limits on the number of hours a pilot can fly weekly and monthly and extends the number of consecutive hours off in a seven-day period from 24 to 30. The FAA estimates the rule will cost U.S. airlines a relatively modest $297 million over 10 years.
The RAA declined comment to AIN, referring only to a statement it issued on January 4 that noted it continues to review the final rule. “The cornerstone of our efforts continues to be safety,” said RAA president Roger Cohen in the statement. “This final rule is a culmination of considerable effort by the FAA, pilots and airlines which began with the Aviation Rulemaking Committee established in July 2009 and with RAA and airline member participation. While we are still reviewing the rule, it does open the door for additional research, including our own efforts on a ground-breaking fatigue study of multi-segment operations by Washington State University.”