Pilot Fatigue Rules Might Encompass Cargo Pilots

 - May 24, 2012, 3:22 PM

The FAA has asked a federal court to delay a lawsuit by a pilot union so the agency can take another look at whether cargo pilots should be covered by new Part 121 flight, duty and rest regulations. When the FAA issued a final rule last year, it excluded cargo operations.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood encouraged freight carriers to adopt the anti-fatigue measures voluntarily. But the Independent Pilots Association (IPA), which represents UPS pilots, filed a lawsuit to force the FAA to include cargo operations. On May 17, the Justice Department asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to put the lawsuit on hold while the FAA “re-examines” the calculations it used to justify exempting cargo operations.

Meanwhile, a House bill that would extend the pilot rest rules to cover cargo pilots has already collected 26 cosponsors. Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.), a former Navy and Northwest Airlines pilot, is chief sponsor of the bill.