U-turn over fatigue law excluding cargo pilots
12 / 06 / 2012
A LAWSUIT lodged by the Independent Pilots Association (the UPS pilots’ union) has forced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to review its controversial anti-fatigue bill excluding cargo pilots.
The FAA has admitted that it “discovered errors” in its cost calculations while preparing its court papers justifying why including cargo airlines in the new legislation would be too costly to the industry – US$214m over a decade.
Earlier, the agency had stated the figure had been calculated after it consulted with the national transportation department and the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.
The pilots’ union claims the agency could not find any justification for the cost estimate.
The FAA now says it “believes that it is prudent to review the portion of its cost-benefit analysis related to all-cargo operations and allow interested parties an opportunity to comment on that analysis”.
Scheduled to come into force in 2014, the new regulations limit passenger pilots’ flying time to a maximum of nine hours and states their rest periods should be a minimum of 10 hours.
However, cargo airlines, including UPS, have lobbied for different rules from passenger airlines because cargo is usually flown overnight.