FAA fatigue rules may impact air cargo
22 / 05 / 2012
NEW restrictions to the hours that pilots can fly to minimise fatigue and prevent accidents are due from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imminently.
Following a crash in western New York in 2008 linked to pilot fatigue, the US government promised new procedures to prevent a reoccurrence. A draft has been submitted and it goes to vote soon.
However, air cargo operators have raised their concern at the measures that will limit pilots operating in the early morning – 2am to 6am – when many cargo flights operate.
Cargo and charter operators currently have more freedom in scheduling pilots’ flight time than passenger carriers, something that the FAA has come under political pressure to change.
Oakley Brooks, president of the National Air Carrier Association, says the US military “is watching very closely what is going on with the flight and duty-time rulemaking because how that comes out will affect their ability to move troops and their ability to move cargo. We’re working closely with them”.