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Unions unhappy with proposed FAA changes to flight and rest times

Unions representing US airline bodies have expressed dissatisfaction with proposed changes to Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) flight, duty and rest times, claiming that they are likely to increase fatigue amongst pilots.

According to the unions, the new guidelines have not been given sufficient scientific consideration or evaluated by independent fatigue specialists.

Unions have criticised the proposed changes as a ‘big step backwards’ and argue that proposed maximum flight time increases from 8 to 10 hours with only 9 hours minimum rest between duties have not been brought under close enough scrutiny.

In response to this, FAA and flight safety officials claim that the new rules will improve flight safety by reducing the number of daily duty hours from 16 to 13 (unaugmented) and that objecting to these changes will only delay the implementation of any improvements to the current Flight Time Limitations.

sources: usairlinepilots.org, USA Today