FAA crew duty lawsuit?

Bavarian Chef

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Anyone got the whole story on this one? Sorry if I missed it in the Majors section.


Continental, American and others sue FAA


Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal

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Continental Airlines Inc. and six other airlines have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration opposing new safety requirements aimed at tackling pilot fatigue on some international flights.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Houston-based Continental (NYSE: CAL) and Fort Worth-based American Airlines Inc.’s parent, AMR Corp. (NYSE: AMR), are among the airlines challenging the legality and the safety benefits of the new rules for pilots of flights lasting 16 hours or longer. Airlines have become more reliant on such routes, but are reluctant to incur increased labor costs by giving pilots a longer rest time between flights, The Journal reported.
The lawsuit was filed Dec. 24 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Other airlines involved in the suit include Purchase, N.Y.-based Atlas Air Inc.; McMinnville, Ore.-based Evergreen International Airlines Inc.; Forest Hills, N.Y.-based JetBlue Airways Corp.; Chicago-based United AirLines Inc.; and Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways Inc.

http://sanjose.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2009/01/05/daily6.html?t=printable
 

ACL65PILOT

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Yep they are upset about the crew rest requirements. They way I see it, they better be careful or they will get the the manning requirements shoved down their throat's too.
 

EWR_FO

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BC,

In a nutshell, the FAA has decided to implement more stringent "rest" requirements for ultra long haul ops (anything with a leg blocked over 16 hours). In true FAA fashion (ready, fire, aim) they have decided to not take any comment period, or bother to ask the people who do it all the time what they think. Their proposed changes will only make things worse, NOT better.

If they were actually serious about pilot fatigue, they would only be if a solution was free, they would take a hard look at domestic, short haul operations. The Whitlow Rule, IMHO, was only a moderately acceptable STARTING point to regs that were written eons ago.

The FAA is starting to rival the TSA in how completely out of touch they are with the real world.
 

dalav8tor

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Pilots are against it too. Nobody wants to spend any more time in Mumbai than they have too especially when it means less time off at home.
 

contrail67

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Yep they are upset about the crew rest requirements. They way I see it, they better be careful or they will get the the manning requirements shoved down their throat's too.


What kind of manning increase will this mean if the FAA rules are upheld?....is this a similar issue that came about years ago relating to the reserve rest periods?...or lack of.
 

GogglesPisano

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In this furlough-rich environment, I would think we pilots would wish for more stringent rest (and thereby staffing) regulations.

Spending 48hrs and Mumbai beats spending 40hrs at Home Depot.
 

Skippy

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its total BS--- there will be one captain and three fo's no real movement and you'll get an extra 12 hours in "mumbai"

big freaking deal--- i though the airlines already agreed to the BS one captain and three fo deal a few months back under ULF ultra long flights-- or maybe that was just manning, not rest..
 

Bavarian Chef

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Couldn't figure out why JetBlue would be a party to the suit.

Thanks.
 

SELFloadingCRGO

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Not sure if I remember this right but a year or two ago wasn't JB trying to get a change to the 8 hr/day rule so their crews could do transcon turns? If so maybe that is why they are named on it too.


SLC
:cool:
 

contrail67

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well, airlines usually don't take legal action against the FAA unless there is a major negative impact on the company.....like needing to staff more crews because of it. Any international folks want to chime in with their 2 cents?.....just seems to be more at stake than getting more rest, unless it totally upsets the schedule.
 

Big Beer Belly

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Couldn't figure out why JetBlue would be a party to the suit.

Thanks.
It's obvious BC... JB doesn't want its flight crews too tired at the end of a long duty day to clean the cabin before heading to the hotel! OMG... like DUH! :D
 

instructordude

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It's obvious BC... JB doesn't want its flight crews too tired at the end of a long duty day to clean the cabin before heading to the hotel! OMG... like DUH! :D

Do they really clean the cabin for a terminating aircraft?

If they do, do they get extra pay?
 

CaptJax

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AP's Story On Crew Rest Rules

Airlines sue FAA over crew rest rules

Jan. 5, 2009 04:58 PM
Associated Press

DALLAS - Several of the nation's largest airlines have joined in a lawsuit to block stronger federal rules on crew rest during the longest international flights.

The airlines say that the Federal Aviation Administration bypassed usual rule-making procedures and denied them the right to comment before it notified American Airlines and Continental Airlines Inc. of the new rules in late October.

The petition was filed Dec. 24 in the federal appellate court in Washington by American, Continental, UAL Corp.'s United Airlines, US Airways, JetBlue and two smaller carriers.

In their filing, the airlines said the new requirements would saddle them with "substantial burdens and costs." They charged FAA did not show how the rules would improve safety.

The FAA rules would require that pilots on the longest international flights get more rest before flying again. The extra rest would be required even when only 10 percent of flights on a particular route exceed 16 hours.

The FAA was trying to address pilot fatigue, which unions and others have argued is a growing safety concern, especially on flights that can run 16 hours or longer.

American, a unit of AMR Corp., believes that FAA should follow "the accepted and required process" of giving notice and allowing the industry and public to comment before issuing new rules, said Tim Wagner, a spokesman for American.

Wagner said FAA should get comments from experts on fatigue, airlines, unions and others.

"We believe that the safest rules come from that process because the FAA itself becomes more knowledgeable and better educated through the comment period," he said.

Scott Shankland, a spokesman for the pilots' union, said rules on crew rest are badly outdated, and he criticized American's action.

"We find it unconscionable that American would fight this thing" and "decrease the margin of error" for safety, he said.

FAA spokeswoman Alison Duquette said crew fatigue is a serious safety issue.

"It makes sense for airlines to use an FAA-approved program based on the latest science - circadian rhythm and time-zone changes - to reduce the risk of fatigue to flight crews," she said.

Delta Air Lines Inc., the nation's largest carrier, did not join the lawsuit. It agreed to more crew rest before and after the longest international flights while being allowed to sometimes work pilots more than eight hours a day.

The FAA's Duquette called Delta's "a model program."

In a letter to American, FAA officials said they met with "potentially affected stakeholders" in April, May and June and changed their proposal in response to some of the comments.

Pilot fatigue has become a more visible safety issue as U.S. airlines seek to expand service to Asia, often flying long polar routes. At American, it pitted pilots against the airline.

In 2006, the pilots' union refused to endorse American's bid for an extra route to China when the airline refused to negotiate over pay for canceled flights and other concessions. The flights between Dallas and Beijing would have exceeded limits on flying time and workday length under the pilots' contract.

The two sides had reached a side deal to allow similar long flights between Chicago and New Delhi the year before.

Continental pilots - who have flown between Newark, N.J., and Hong Kong for more than seven years - sided with their airline in opposing some of the FAA's requirements. The union told regulators that Continental's minimum rest after arriving in Hong Kong was adequate.
 
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