Nice job AMR and CAL: FAA Drops New Rest Requirements ! :-(

propjob27

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FAA Drops Its Rest Plan for Pilots on Long Hauls - WSJ

FAA Drops Its Rest Plan for Pilots on Long Hauls - WSJ.com

By ANDY PASZTOR
After years of disputes with airlines over ways to reduce fatigue in the cockpit, federal aviation regulators this week withdrew a proposal mandating extra rest for U.S. pilots flying the longest international routes.

The Federal Aviation Administration's decision jettisons, at least for the time being, a policy which senior officials had championed as an important safety measure. By establishing new standards for the longest routes, the agency had hoped to set a precedent for addressing the broader issue of pilot fatigue throughout the industry. The agency had been pushing for additional rest for pilots before, during and after these long-haul runs.

The airline industry opposed the initiative, which would have mandated longer layovers for pilots and could have required some carriers to redesign cabins to provide additional sleeping areas for flight crews. Less than a month ago, the FAA asked a federal judge to throw out industry challenges to enhanced crew-rest on so-called ultralong-range routes, or nonstop flights lasting 16 hours or longer.

But earlier this week, the agency informed airlines, pilot unions and other groups it was dropping the proposal based on industry comments. "We remain committed to addressing the issue of fatigue" on such flights, "but believe additional data is necessary," an agency email said.

An FAA spokeswoman said Friday the agency will "work with airlines over the next year to gather data that will help us determine the safety requirements for these flights."

Although a number of carriers have indicated they will voluntarily comply with some provisions, it's still a setback for proponents of tougher fatigue-prevention schedules. Carriers had been concerned that by agreeing to the new policy, they could be opening the door to further FAA restrictions that could be imposed on their operations outside of the standard rule-making process.

The proposal was a building block for the FAA's campaign to use the latest research findings to revise pilot-scheduling rules that basically haven't been updated for decades. Various FAA initiatives have stalled over the years due to disagreements between airlines and pilot groups.

In late 2006 Delta Air Lines Inc. agreed to special operating restrictions on its New York-Mumbai run, but later scrapped that route for commercial reasons. The FAA hoped to hammer out similar restrictions with other carriers.

Last summer, when negotiations over voluntary changes in ultralong-range schedules seemed to be making progress, Peggy Gilligan, a senior FAA safety official, said the goal was to "better apply what we know from science" to enhance safety, sometimes by going outside traditional rule-making procedures. "We will reach some kind of agreement," she predicted at the time. A spokeswoman on Friday said Ms. Gilligan, who is now the agency's top safety official, wasn't available for comment.

Despite years of joint industry-government analyses and fatigue study groups, the FAA continues to face strong opposition from the airline industry. The impasse over these routes -- including nonstop flights by Continental Airlines Inc. from Newark, N.J. to Hong Kong and AMR Corp.'s American Airlines flights between Chicago and Delhi -- comes as outside experts express concern that tired and sleepy pilots are one of the major safety issues confronting U.S. commercial aviation. Some foreign airlines and regulators have already made significant strides in reducing such risks.

On flights lasting longer than eight hours, additional pilots typically are assigned to relieve crew members. But when nonstop flights are scheduled for 16 hours or more, even four-person cockpit crews work beyond that traditional eight-hour per day limit.

The now-stalled proposal allowed some pilots to be behind the controls for a total of more than the current eight-hour limit during a single workday. In return, airlines would have guaranteed extra-long crew rest periods before takeoff, various fatigue-prevention techniques during trips and as many as two full days of rest for pilots after arriving overseas.

When the FAA released the proposal last fall, it said "the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence and studies indicate that people can have significant levels of fatigue" toward the end of such long flights that "may adversely affect safety." Since traditional flight-time rules never contemplated such lengthy trips and grueling schedules, the agency also said "it is appropriate to be cautious" by relying on extra safeguards "to maintain a high level of safety for the traveling public."

American and Continental, which filed suit with a number of other carriers to block the FAA's proposal on procedural grounds, have argued that the scheduling restrictions wouldn't make pilots more alert or in the end, enhance safety.

For years, the FAA has been criticized by the National Transportation Safety Board for failing to impose tougher, wide-ranging fatigue-prevention rules. The proposal affecting long-haul routes was an example of agency efforts to begin tailoring restrictions as a way to target portions of the industry perceived to have the greatest fatigue risks.

—Christopher Conkey contributed to this article.
Write to Andy Pasztor at andy.pasztor@wsj.com

_________________________________________

Email the FAA expressing your disappointment in their dropping the fight for stricter and safer rest requirements for both ULH Flying as well as other flying (if that's how you feel).

I did.

Contact the Aviation Safety Hotline
 

AA717driver

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APA is still fighting the 2 CA/2 FO v. 1 CA/3 FO staffing on the ULH flights.

AMR's last concern is safety.

TC
 

propjob27

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Back when this proposed rule change first came out, I read a bunch of complaints against it from CAL and DAL pilots about how it would "hurt their schedules, they'd rather have an extra day off at home every month vs an extra 24 hour layover in Delhi, etc".

Sadly, it reminded of when I heard JetBlue pilots screaming about how much they wanted relief from the 8 hour rule so they could do transcon turns w/o a relief pilot.

Both made me a little bit sick.
 

Mookie

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two ways to change the rest rules:

1. increase in fatigue calls by crewmembers.

or.....


2. multiple crashes due to crew fatigue.....

Mookie
 

AAflyer

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Back when this proposed rule change first came out, I read a bunch of complaints against it from CAL and DAL pilots about how it would "hurt their schedules, they'd rather have an extra day off at home every month vs an extra 24 hour layover in Delhi, etc".

Sadly, it reminded of when I heard JetBlue pilots screaming about how much they wanted relief from the 8 hour rule so they could do transcon turns w/o a relief pilot.

Both made me a little bit sick.
You didn't hear AA pilots talking about it, and lastly I am glad you titled the thread AMR... APA has opposed this.

But like so many other areas in this business the pilots are getting the SH&*&T kicked out of them.

AA
 

SFR

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Just bid reserve... you will get plenty of rest.
 

FlyingSig

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You may have heard a few whiny DAL pilots, but the majority wanted the rules. DALPA Safety was a big part of pushing these rules.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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APA is still fighting the 2 CA/2 FO v. 1 CA/3 FO staffing on the ULH flights.

AMR's last concern is safety.

TC

What are the pros and cons of the two formats....

Respectfully....
 

Bavarian Chef

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two ways to change the rest rules:

1. increase in fatigue calls by crewmembers.

or.....


2. multiple crashes due to crew fatigue.....

Mookie
1 or 2, 1 or 2 ... man, do I have to choose now?
 

Bavarian Chef

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Sadly, it reminded of when I heard JetBlue pilots screaming about how much they wanted relief from the 8 hour rule so they could do transcon turns w/o a relief pilot.
JB pilots do not have any representation, thus they have no collective opinion or voice with which to express it. As for the VERY FEW pilots that ended up in favor of essentially a management sponsored and researched proposal, they were doing so on their own behalf.

JB "pilots" have yet to endorse ANYTHING as a group -- despite company assertions that its pilots were once against the FFDO program, for the Age 65 increase, and now against the latest union drive.

My favorite opener to a JB press release:

"On behalf of JetBlue's 2,000 pilots ..."

My favorite closer to a company email:

TYFAYD

And of course ... "Happy Jetting!"
 

Papa Woody

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When they say "it's not about the money".......


....it's about the money!
 

GogglesPisano

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enough
And as a result, there is a need for fewer pilots.
 

m80drvr

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What are the pros and cons of the two formats....

Respectfully....


Hmmmmmmmm....I would assume that AMR would have to upgrade and hire (recall) more pilots to cover the 2 CA/ 2 FO staffing formula.

Surprised I had to explain that one.
 

Lampshade

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Back when this proposed rule change first came out, I read a bunch of complaints against it from CAL and DAL pilots about how it would "hurt their schedules, they'd rather have an extra day off at home every month vs an extra 24 hour layover in Delhi, etc".

Sadly, it reminded of when I heard JetBlue pilots screaming about how much they wanted relief from the 8 hour rule so they could do transcon turns w/o a relief pilot.

Both made me a little bit sick.
did someone say JetBlue?

From Aviation Daily 2009 January
Seven U.S. carriers have launched a lawsuit against FAA in protest against new requirements for crew rest on ultra-long range (ULR) flights.
The carriers say FAA should have gone through a rulemaking process for the changes, allowing more industry input. Their complaint is not just procedural, however — the airlines claim the crew rest requirements place an unfair financial burden on them while safety benefits are unproven. Listed on the lawsuit are American, Continental, United, US Airways and JetBlue, as well as cargo carriers Evergreen and Atlas.
FAA wrote to both American and Continental in October telling them that their operational specifications would be amended to include the new ULR requirements. In American’s case, the agency said its flight between Chicago and Delhi would be affected by the changes. ULR flights are generally considered to be longer than 16 hours.
The agency would not comment on the lawsuit itself. FAA met with these carriers and other affected parties to discuss the ULR crew rest issue before the letters were sent. Delta had already negotiated changes in its rules to address ULR flights on a particular route, and these were approved by FAA in 2006.
In the October letters, FAA said it took into account the comments of the carriers before amending crew rest requirements. FAA said the revision “contains mitigations to address risks in ultra-long-range flight operations.”
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S.

Seven U.S. carriers have launched a lawsuit against FAA in protest against new requirements for crew rest on ultra-long range (ULR) flights.
The carriers say FAA should have gone through a rulemaking process for the changes, allowing more industry input. Their complaint is not just procedural, however — the airlines claim the crew rest requirements place an unfair financial burden on them while safety benefits are unproven. Listed on the lawsuit are American, Continental, United, US Airways and JetBlue, as well as cargo carriers Evergreen and Atlas.
FAA wrote to both American and Continental in October telling them that their operational specifications would be amended to include the new ULR requirements. In American’s case, the agency said its flight between Chicago and Delhi would be affected by the changes. ULR flights are generally considered to be longer than 16 hours.
They don't have a dog in the fight but they agree less rest is best.
 

Bavarian Chef

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did someone say JetBlue?



They don't have a dog in the fight but they agree less rest is best.
They did it because they look out for "us".
 

bizicmo

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Hmmmmmmmm....I would assume that AMR would have to upgrade and hire (recall) more pilots to cover the 2 CA/ 2 FO staffing formula.

Surprised I had to explain that one.
Not if they continue to reduce total fleet size.
 

AA717driver

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What are the pros and cons of the two formats....

Respectfully....
Rez--I'll give you the AA side first, then, IMO, the industry side.

At AA, they've been heaping more and more responsibility on the CA's since 9/11. For example, MX doesn't do walkarounds anymore so the CA has to rely on the FO to find things. Yes, I'm trained to do walkarounds but I know I can't see the same stuff a mech will on a regular basis. It's a lot of little stuff that just adds up.

It appears that the company is putting increasing responsibility on the CA's and will be the first to throw them under the bus when something goes wrong.

The larger concern is if the CA is on rest break and they go off track, he gets violated even though he's in the back, asleep. In theory, since all FO's are typed, they are technically PIC while the CA is off the flight deck. But in reality, the CA (the company designated PIC) is going to get the brunt of the punishment.

NWA used the 2/2 set up I believe. One crew takes off and the other lands. At no time (other than bathroom breaks) is there not a CA who has been designated by the company as PIC on the flight deck.

We even had this issue at my corporate job. Our FAA guy said we had to make a notation on the flight plan when we switched off PIC's. Maybe this is possible in 121 (I'm sure it is in the 2/2 situation.) but with a 1/3 crewing, I don't see the company allowing it.

Hope that give some insight--extremely complex and the only impediment is that it costs more to do the 2/2 crewing.

TC
 

EWR_FO

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The problem with the attempted change was the complete circumvention of the normal process. If they had actually bothered to ask the PILOTS who fly these trips all the time, not a bunch of management fools who play pilot once every three months, what they think- they would have found the overwhelming response to be that this change does NOTHING to improve safety. In fact, it could be argued that it actually makes these trips more tiring by letting you START to adjust to local time, just in time to leave.

I have been doing the long-haul gig for fourteen years and am convinced the spotlight needs to start on the domestic rules with the next stop being the two-man international rules.

The fact that airline management was able to influence the process is disturbing because to them it is all about money, they couldn't give a rat's ass who is tired or not. It absolutely grates on me to actually be on the same side of an issue as them, although the motivation is different, but this whole issue needs to start domestically.
 

JungleJett

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HorseShiit.

This is about money and if anyone tells you different, they are full of it.......if the pilots at these airlines would have been compensated in pay or days off, you would not have heard one peep out of them.

This could have been a stepping stone to a closer look at domestic rules...but those who opposed just screwed themselves.

Man we are really dumb sometimes....

The problem with the attempted change was the complete circumvention of the normal process. If they had actually bothered to ask the PILOTS who fly these trips all the time, not a bunch of management fools who play pilot once every three months, what they think- they would have found the overwhelming response to be that this change does NOTHING to improve safety. In fact, it could be argued that it actually makes these trips more tiring by letting you START to adjust to local time, just in time to leave.

I have been doing the long-haul gig for fourteen years and am convinced the spotlight needs to start on the domestic rules with the next stop being the two-man international rules.

The fact that airline management was able to influence the process is disturbing because to them it is all about money, they couldn't give a rat's ass who is tired or not. It absolutely grates on me to actually be on the same side of an issue as them, although the motivation is different, but this whole issue needs to start domestically.
 
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