NTSB: House Aviation Provisions Could Hurt Safety

 - April 26, 2011, 10:10 AM

The NTSB has come out against two amendments in the FAA reauthorization bill that the Board believes could adversely affect safety. In a letter to Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), the ranking Democrat on the House aviation subcommittee, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman said enactment of Section 826 could either halt current work on a pilot fatigue rule or prevent it from being uniformly applied. Another amendment, Section 336, would prohibit fatigue-related rulemakings for air ambulance and cargo haulers. “The NTSB believes there is no reason to exempt these operations from science-based flight-crew scheduling requirements,” Hersman wrote, adding that the aviation industry is quickly moving towards safety management systems that incorporate fatigue risk-management systems (FRMS). “The enactment of [Section 336] would prevent the FAA from requiring FRMS for air ambulance and cargo haulers, which would be detrimental to the safety of the flight crews, medical personnel, patients on board and persons on the ground,” Hersman said. The FAA began its latest rulemaking activities on flight and duty time last September.