Today, the European Council of Ministers reached a political agreement on the harmonizing of Flight Time Limitations (FTL). ECA welcomes that Ministers took a first step towards harmonisation, but regret that the current proposal is incomplete and does not take into consideration the latest medical and scientific research, to avoid that pilot fatigue compromises flight safety.
Existing studies show that the level of fatigue after flying more than 10 hours at night is equivalent to 0.08% alcohol in the blood. The Council has agreed on a maximum of 11 hours 45 minutes.
Statistical evidence demonstrates that exposure to an accident is 6 times higher on aircraft whose crew has been working longer than 12 hours. The current proposal allows up to 14 hours at daytime.
ECA urges the European Institutions to use the remaining legislative process to incorporate the conclusions of the latest medical and scientific studies to the legislation, and to carry out a scientific review of the FTL provisions within two years after entry into force.
See ECA Press Release (PDF)
See the Final Text agreed by the Council (PDF)