The European Commission and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have set up a research study to review the effectiveness of the new flight and duty time limitations and rest requirements applicable since 18 February 2016.
The objective is to determine whether these rules provide sufficient protection from potential consequences of aircrew fatigue and, if necessary, to make recommendations for changes to the rules.
The starting point of the FTL research study is to determine the scope of a planned data gathering campaign in which aircrews will be followed and asked to collect data on alertness and fatigue. Before this campaign can start, the envelope of operations that will be the focus of the exercise needs to be determined based on expected level of fatigue risk.
EASA pre-defined six flight duty periods that are to be investigated; two of which will be investigated in the current research study. In view of the large scope of the task encompassed by the review, it was decided to break down the review work into three phases, with each individual phase focusing onto two out of the six duty periods.
One of the methods that are used to define this envelope of operations is an online survey.
Aircrew members are the main focus of the survey; i.e. flight and cabin crew in all type of CAT operations are our main interest for the survey. In addition to this group of aircrews, the survey can also be spread amongst scheduling and safety experts working for European CAT operators and subject matter experts in fatigue management working for European aviation authorities or as consultants.
This FTL review is being performed by a research consortium with the Netherlands Aerospace Centre NLR, Stockholm University, German Aerospace Centre DLR, and Jeppesen.
Link to the survey: Online survey – Effectiveness of Flight Time Limitation – Flight Duty Periods