DOT Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta Wednesday announced a sweeping final rule that overhauls commercial passenger airline pilot scheduling to ensure pilots have a longer opportunity for rest before they enter the cockpit.
DOT identified the issue of pilot fatigue as a top priority during a 2009 airline Safety Call to Action following the crash of Colgan Air flight 3407.
Key components of the final rule for commercial passenger flights include varying flight and duty requirements based on what time the pilot's day begins; allowable length of flight duty period; flight time limits of eight or nine hours; 10-hour minimum rest period; new cumulative flight duty and flight time limits; responsibility for fitness for duty; and alternative fatigue risk management systems.
The final rule has been sent to the Federal Register and is available at: http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/recently_published/media/2120-AJ58-FinalRule.pdf. The rule will take effect in two years to allow commercial passenger airline operators time to transition.