Pilots should work longer hours and the minimum hours of rest should be lowered. That is what the European Commission proposed. But if this new legislation (EU-FTL) would be passed, duties as long as 22 hours (standby hours plus flying hours) would become a reality. In the United States, the maximum number of hours is 16. The Transport and Tourism committee members voted against this proposal today.
Changes in rest and work hours
Today, a motion was adopted to reject the European Commission's proposal. If passed, this proposal would have radically altered the number of hours flight personnel are allowed to work. Member of Parliament and vice president of the Transport Committee Peter van Dalen: "Several researchers, including those hired by the European Commission itself, advise pilots not to work night shifts longer than 10 hours. The Commission has now ignored this research without giving a proper explanation why."
Next month, the topic will be discussed during the European Parliament's plenary meetings.
If changes are made in the number of hours pilots are allowed to work and how much rest they should take, flight safety could be seriously jeopardised. A recent study of 500 pilots commissioned by the British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) showed that even under current regulation, 56% of pilots said they had fallen asleep at the cockpit, and a third have woken up to find their co-pilot also asleep. 43% of those polled believed that tiredness had compromised their ability to fly a plane at least once a month for the last six months.
Written by: Team Flight-Delayed.co.uk