NBAA, NATA Question FAA over Pilot Fatigue Rules

 - November 30, 2010, 11:00 AM

In comments submitted to the FAA regarding the proposed flight-duty and rest requirements for Part 121 operators, both NBAA and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) question the agency’s apparent intent to apply these requirements for Part 121 operations to Part 135 charter operations. The alphabet groups warned that a “one size fits all” regulatory approach to pilot fatigue rules for Part 121 and 135 will simply not work. “The FAA indicates that Part 135 operators could face a duty and rest rule nearly identical to that established for Part 121 operations. That naïve statement, unfortunately, suggests a lack of basic knowledge of Part 135 operations,” NBAA vice president of safety, security and regulation Doug Carr wrote in his comments to the FAA. Carr noted that the FAA’s plans are unclear for Part 135, including theater of operations, consecutive nighttime flights and how long-call and short-call reserve would apply to on-demand Part 135 operations. In his submitted comments, NATA president James Coyne urged the FAA to use a “comprehensive proposal” from the Part 135 flight, duty and rest Aviation Rulemaking Committee subgroup for on-demand operators, instead of a carbon copy of the Part 121 proposal. Coyne said it is “alarming” that the FAA has largely adopted the proposals of the Part 121 industry representatives in the NPRM, “but seemingly intends to ignore the Part 135 industry’s proposal when those rules are subject to future rulemaking.”