Proposed New Rules on Flight Crew Fatigue Management

Backgrounder

Transport Canada is proposing new rules on flight crew fatigue and fitness for duty to improve passenger and flight crew safety and align regulations with today’s scientific data, international standards, and best practices.

The proposed changes to flight crew fatigue management include two essential elements:

  1. A way for air operators to adopt a Fatigue Risk Management System.
  2. New scientific-based flight and duty time limits (see table below);

1. Fatigue Risk Management Systems

Fatigue Risk Management Systems allow air operators to adapt policies, procedures and practices to manage fatigue risk in an operation. Fatigue Risk Management Systems provide operators, including those who provide cargo services, more flexibility as long as they can demonstrate an equivalent level of safety. For example: an air operator could be permitted to fly longer than the prescribed flight duty time limit if they can meet Fatigue Risk Management Systems requirements and show that alertness and fatigue will not be affected.

2. New scientific-based flight and duty time limits

  Current rules Proposed rules
Flight time
  • 1,200 hours in any calendar year
  • 300 hours in any 90 consecutive days
  • 120 hours in any 30 consecutive days
  • 40 hours in any 7 consecutive days
  • No daily flight time limitation
  • 1,000 hours in any calendar year
  • 300 hours in any 90 consecutive days
  • 112 hours in any 28 consecutive days
  • No daily flight time limitation
Flight duty time
  • 14 hours (aerial workers and air taxi operators) or
  • 13 hours 45 minutes (commuter operations and airline operators)
  • Would depend on start time of day:
    • Maximum 13 hours for daytime flights (for flights departing from 8 a.m. to noon)
    • Maximum 9 hours for night time flights
  • Up to a 2 hour reduction depending on the number of flights flown in the same flight duty period
  • 11 hours (daytime) with 7 or more flights during the same flight duty period
Rest periods
  • 8 hours plus time for meals, personal hygiene, and travel to and from suitable accommodation
    (This should result in rest periods in the range of 10 to 11 hours)
  • At home base – 12 hours or 11 hours plus travel time;
  • Away from home base – 10 hours in suitable accommodation
Time free from duty
  • 36 consecutive hours during any 7 consecutive days
  • 33 consecutive hours at a specified time of day (22:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. plus 1 day) once per every 7 consecutive days
Consecutive night duties
  • N/A
  • Maximum of 3 nights of duty in a row without a rest during the night
  • If a rest is provided during the night, up to 5 consecutive nighttime duty periods
Fatigue Risk Management Systems
  • No Fatigue Risk Management Systems option
  • Option to use TC approved Fatigue Risk Management Systems
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