The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) today expressed its strong disagreement with the current disinformation campaign organised throughout Europe by the European Cockpit Association on the Agency’s proposal to amend the current EU rules on flight and duty time limitations and rest requirements (FTL) for commercial air transport.
Contrary to what this pilot association says, the maximum duty period at night is reduced to 11 hours, 22-hour duty is not an option in real-life scenarios, recovery rest is significantly increased to up to 5 days in order to compensate for the time-zone crossings effect and crew standby are limited to 16 hours. The EASA proposal takes full account of the fact that fatigue is one of the main factors affecting human performance and makes no provision for increased air crew flight hours.
Commenting on the action taken by the European Cockpit Association, EASA's Executive Director, Patrick Goudou, said: "It is clearly not a responsible attitude to play with the fear of passengers. EASA is committed to make no compromise with the safety of air passengers in Europe and throughout the world."
These FTL rules have been prepared during 3 years with unprecedented scientific input and public consultation. More than 50 scientific studies were analysed, with a particular focus on the effects of disruptive schedule, while all concerned stakeholder groups including flight and cabin crew organisations, airlines, and Member State representatives were consulted throughout the process.
The proposed rules contain more than 30 safety improvements compared to current requirements and introduce new limitations to the way air crews can be scheduled. The EASA Opinion has already received strong support from the European Union Member States. It will be finalised by the European Commission with Parliamentary scrutiny. The new rules are expected to be adopted into EU law after mid-2013 and fully implemented by the end of 2015.