Flight Time Rules Questioned by UK Transport Committee

The EU proposal for flight and duty time regulations has been questioned by the UK Parliamentary Transport Committee this week.

The proposed EASA changes, due to take effect as early as November this year, are an improvement upon the current version, the committee said, but they seem, for the most part to contradict current scientific research.

Concerns were also raised about the controversial low reporting of pilot fatigue.  This will relate directly to the proposal for 11-hour  period of ‘on duty’ for night flights and led the committee to demand that ‘the government seek to ensure scientists have a more central role in further work by EASA as it finalizes its flight-time limitations proposals.’

The Transport Committee have reiterated their concerns that no ‘consensus was reached with pilots and cabin crew.’  The proposals by EASA would give operators the lead to issue duty rotations that will mean up to a third of flights will exceed the current maximum duty period. The UK CAA believes that a more practical limit would be 10-20%.  EASA argue that scheduled flights that would exceed will only be seasonal.

It has been suggested by the UK that the EU come back to the regulations after a two year ‘trial’ period, to assess the effectiveness of the new rules.

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