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Nov 1, 2002
New FAA rules will provide more rest time for pilots 9:26 AM CT

[SIZE=-1]09:26 AM CDT on Friday, September 10, 2010

[SIZE=-1]By TERRY MAXON / The Dallas Morning News
[email protected]
Airline pilots will get more time to rest while they’re on a trip, and more hours of rest when they’re between assignments, according to new rules on pilot rest and fatigue being released today.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood , on his blog, revealed some details of the new rules, to be formally announced in a joint press conference with Federal Aviation Administration head Randy Babbitt at noon Dallas time.

LaHood said pilots will get nine hours to rest every day, up from the eight hours required at present.

In addition, airlines must give a pilot 30 consecutive hours free from duty each week, up from 24 hours at present.

"The proposed rule also gives pilots the right to decline an assignment if they feel fatigued – without penalty," LaHood said.

FAA and DOT officials have been working with airlines, pilot unions and safety experts to come up with new rules after a late-night crash of a Colgan Air flight near Buffalo, N.Y., in February 2009.

The National Transportation Safety Board ruled that the probable cause was pilot error, but testimony and evidence showed that the pilots may have been tired, with the first officer commuting cross country the night before her flight.

LaHood said DOT is proposing “one consistent rule for domestic, international, and unscheduled flights.”

He also said the rules will provide “different requirements based on time-of-day, number of scheduled segments, flight types, time zones, and likelihood that a pilot is able to sleep.”
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U.S. Airline Pilots Said to Get More Rest Under FAA Overhaul

By John Hughes - Sep 10, 2010
Airline pilots would get nine hours of rest between shifts, a 13 percent rise from current schedules, under the first proposed U.S. overhaul of fatigue rules in 15 years, according to a person familiar with the plan.
The changes, prompted by an airline crash last year near Buffalo, New York, would also require pilots to get at least 30 consecutive work-free hours each week, a 25 percent increase from today’s rules, according to the person, who requested anonymity before the proposal is announced.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Aviation Administration chief Randy Babbitt plan a 1 p.m. news conference in Washington today to make a “major aviation announcement,” according to a statement yesterday. Sasha Johnson, an FAA spokeswoman, declined to comment on the plans.
The FAA, which regulates safety in the world’s busiest airspace, last year began seeking to link decades-old fatigue rules with scientific research, taking into account issues such as changes across time zones and numbers of takeoffs and landings in a shift. A 1995 effort stalled, with pilots seeking more generous work rules and airlines concerned about costs.
“Babbitt has done a very good job at finding common ground,” Bill Voss, president of the nonprofit Flight Safety Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia, said in an interview. “Both sides are likely to be happy with this.”
The 1940s-era rules, updated in 1985, let pilots for carriers such as US Airways Group Inc. fly as long as eight hours and limit the overall work day to 16 hours. Under the proposal, pilots would be allowed to fly as long as 10 hours, while the maximum work day would be trimmed to 13 hours, according to the person.
‘Very Bad’ Rules
Current rules are “really very bad” and don’t recognize “the difference between day and night,” Voss said. The proposal recognizes time-zone changes and the cumulative effect of sleep, and “those two things change everything,” he said.
Pilot unions have said the current work rules are too weak because their eight-hour break often includes tasks such as waiting in airport security lines and traveling to hotels, which can leave only a few hours for actual sleep.
“We badly need a new flight and duty-time regulation,” John Prater, president of the 53,000-member Air Line Pilots Association, told a U.S. Senate panel in December.
Prater’s group “is declining to comment at this time,” Linda Shotwell, a spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.
Industry Evaluating
The Air Transport Association, a Washington trade group for major carriers such as Delta Air Lines Inc. and AMR Corp.’s American Airlines, said it backs rest rules that are based on science and improve safety. “We will be evaluating the FAA pilot-fatigue rule against that standard,” according to a statement.
The FAA began overhauling pilot-rest rules in June 2009, four months after a regional carrier flying for Continental Airlines Inc. crashed near Buffalo, killing 50. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded the pilots’ performances were likely impaired by fatigue, though they couldn’t determine the extent of their tiredness or the role it may have played.
Rebecca Shaw, 24, the co-pilot, had traveled all night from Seattle to Newark, New Jersey, before reporting to work for the flight on Feb. 12, 2009, the NTSB found. Captain Marvin Renslow, 47, commuted from Tampa, Florida, to Newark on Feb. 9 and spent two of three nights before the flight in a crew lounge without beds, the NTSB said.
‘Chronic Sleep Loss’
Renslow “had experienced chronic sleep loss,” the board said in its report, which blamed the crash of the aircraft in Pinnacle Airline Corp.’s Colgan Air unit on his incorrect response to a cockpit stall warning.
The crash prompted a special June 2009 meeting of LaHood, Babbitt, the airlines and unions, on the issue of improving safety at regional airlines. The effort to update the pilot rest rules was announced later that month.
Five months later, the FAA withdrew the attempt begun in 1995, which would have permitted 10 hours of flight time in a 14-hour work day. Industry groups had objected, citing “significant costs,” and unions opposed longer periods in the cockpit, according to the agency.
To contact the reporters on this story: John Hughes in Washington at [email protected].



Cost of the Rule​
The total estimated cost of the proposed rule is $1.25 billion ($804 million present
value using a seven percent discount rate) for the ten year period from 2013 to 2022. The FAA classified costs into four main components and estimated the costs for each component. We obtained data from various industry sources; the sources of the data used in cost estimation are explained in each section. We were very fortunate that several carriers ran two alternatives to the proposed rule through their crew scheduling programs.

Their estimates provided some comparison data to calibrate and validate our costing approach. Without their help, we would have likely missed some cost elements. The table below provides a summary of the four main cost components. Flight operations cost makes up about 60 percent of the total cost of the rule. Each of the main cost components are explained in-depth in the following sections of this document.​

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