7 Steps for Safe EU Air Crew Fatigue Rules

Today, ECA and ETF launched an Action Plan calling on the EU Institutions to swiftly revise EU fatigue law in line with latest scientific evidence. The Action Plan calls for concrete steps to be undertaken by the European Commission, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), EU Member States and the European Parliament to act upon a recent scientific study that shows that EU air crew fatigue law is potentially unsafe.

The Action Plan comes exactly 2 weeks after ECA and ETF carried out a Europe-wide Action Day, when hundreds of pilots and cabin crew took part in a concerted action, raising public awareness of the potential dangers of inadequate legal protection against the effects of Pilot and Cabin Crew fatigue.

Entitled "7 Steps Towards Safer Science-based EU Air Crew Fatigue Law", the Action Plan was sent to EU Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani, President of the Transport Council Ms Åsa Torstensson, EASA Executive Director Patrick Goudou, EP Transport Committee Chairman Brian Simpson, National Aviation Authorities and others. It calls for:

  1. A political statement by the Commissioner and EASA Executive Director that science-based EU rules on air crew fatigue are a priority and a matter of urgency;
  2. EASA to start immediately drafting new fatigue rules, based on EASA's scientific study ("Moebus Report"), upgrading current rules and aiming at adoption by Spring 2011;
  3. Stop allowing the airlines to block progress by continuously questioning scientific evidence and the need for science-based fatigue rules;
  4. EU Member States to commit themselves to adopt EASA's future proposal on a "fast-track" basis, based on safety considerations, not social or economic ones;
  5. EU Member States to comply with new international ICAO rules, which very soon will oblige them to base their national fatigue rules on scientific knowledge;
  6. Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS) to become mandatory for every airline, based on binding EU rules, guidance material, and independent auditing;
  7. Strict, transparent and science-based EU procedures allowing airlines to safely vary fatigue rule sets, subject to FRMS and consultation of air crew.

See the ECA / ETF Press Release (PDF)