Wings Magazine

Major airlines propose changes to pilot work hour regs

Nov. 6, 2012, Ottawa - Canada's largest airlines today submitted to Transport Canada recommendations for revising the rules governing hours of work for pilots.

November 6, 2012  By Carey Fredericks

The proposals from the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC), validated by independent, third-party scientific researchers, would result in better management of pilot fatigue and enhanced aviation safety while also allowing efficient operations.

"Safety is the number one priority for our members. We have studied the issue of flight crew fatigue thoroughly and consulted with experts in the field over the past few years. The science of sleep and fatigue management has evolved significantly and we have a much better understanding of factors that influence fatigue, its effects on pilot performance and the necessary mitigating systems and practices. We will continue to work with Transport Canada and industry stakeholders to ensure the latest science is incorporated into any new regulations," said George Petsikas, President of the NACC.

The NACC's submissions are a response to Transport Canada's request for comments on its proposed regulations. An underlying principle of Transport Canada's Flight Crew Fatigue Management Working Group was that the recommendations were to be based on science. As such, the NACC retained two internationally-respected scientists to assess the effect of its recommendations on pilot fatigue.

"We commend Transport Canada for this safety initiative. The changes that the NACC is proposing are based on sound science, operational experience and have regard to developments in other jurisdictions. Our recommendations introduce new safeguards to ensure safety while maintaining operational flexibility," said Mr. Petsikas.



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