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http://www.freelancedirectory.org/?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation, keynote presentations and workshops for corporate organisations on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. He operated at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book. Journalist and Broadcaster. After-dinner speaker and presenter.

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Thursday, 18 February 2016

New EASA Flight Time Limitations (FTL) rules now in force, a fully harmonised European set of rules specifically targeting air crew fatigue....

 
 
 
New EASA Flight Time Limitations (FTL) rules are now in force  (from February 18th), this is a fully harmonised European set of rules specifically targeting air crew fatigue which is of course a clear risk to flight safety. BUT it is widely feared that not enough has been done to put the supporting education programme in place to ensure all the complex regulations are full understood by national aviation and government organisations in addition to smaller regional airlines.
 
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Julian Bray Aviation Expert comments: So finally the EASA FTL regulations - the ones they said would never be implemented, astonished some owners in the process, but they have, after a long preparatory period, finally arrived. In view of still unexplained aircraft losses in 2015, not a moment before time.
 
Clearly there is now no excuse for airline schedulers, marketing and operations staff to impose on air crew, unworkable, unrealistic rotas, rotations and skimping on rest days. The FTL regs. cover just about everything.
 
Clearly as this is a bottom up, brand new way of working, FTL will have teething troubles, but these should be easily identified and modifications put in place. We can all feel much safer.
 
_________________________
 
The new set of rules and regulations cover all aspects of fatigue risk mitigation, including time-zone crossing, sleep-disrupting flight schedules and addresses cross-border issues.
 
“Interpreting them correctly and in a harmonised manner will remain difficult not only for the companies and national authorities, but also for the individual pilots. This is why ECA developed an online FTL Calculator – allowing each pilot to calculate the legal limits for their daily flight duties."  
 
“As our survey among 6.000 European pilots showed, the application of the new EASA rules is a timely reminder that fatigue is a reality today in Europe’s cockpits,” says ECA Secretary General Philip von Schöppenthau.
 
“And the real extent of the problem is still not reflected in official data as over 70% of all fatigue occurrences are not reported. The good news, however, is that under the new EU Occurrence Reporting Regulation fatigue reporting is no longer a choice but an obligation.”
 
We've included a link to regulations on the EASA website and part of the initial overview. Our suggestion is you copy off the URL and widely circulate the rules. Which are now a mandatory consideration for us all...
 
 
FROM THE CAA WEBSITE:

From 18 February 2016 Commercial Air Transport operators of aeroplanes will need to have transitioned to EASA Subpart FTL. Operators can transition before this date and most major airlines plan to transition by October 2015 for the start of the winter season.

Who is affected?

The regulations apply to:
  • Commercial Air Transport aeroplane operators
However, the following groups are currently exempt from the regulations:
  • Air taxi operators of aeroplanes of 19 seats or less
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
  • Single pilot operations
  • Helicopter operations 
EASA has a number of rulemaking tasks for FTL over the next few years including air taxi operators, EMS, single pilot operations and helicopters. In the future new rules will also cover ultra long range operations and non-commercial complex operations.

What does this mean for affected operators?

They will have to introduce both new prescriptive limitations and new demonstrable processes and procedures required by the regulations. This is a significant change in requirements and regulatory approach as operators will be required to actively demonstrate how they manage fatigue.
Affected operators will need to:
  • Write a new scheme that demonstrates all the requirements under the regulations.
  • Develop processes and procedures, including demonstrating how they are managing their crews' fatigue levels and associated operational risks. They will have to show how they can meet these new responsibilities before they transition.
  • Submit a change management plan/safety case to show that they have assessed the risks of the change and how they will manage it.
  • Conduct fatigue management training with all crew members, crewing and rostering staff and management. The initial training requirement must be completed during the transition process before the operator can secure a new FTL approval.
Further guidance materials and supporting documents on FTL are available, these include: 

What does this mean for crew?

All crew members flying for affected operators will have to learn the new regulations, take part in fatigue management training, and be aware of their increased rights and responsibilities.

Disruptive schedules - Early/late type decision

In implementing the requirements of ARO.OPS.230 (Determination of disruptive schedules) all CAT operators under a UK issued AOC will be required to comply with the ‘late type’ definition.

Variations

Within the new regulations there are two standard variations that an operator may apply for:
  • Two pilot flight duty period limits when un-acclimatised
  • Reduced rest provisions
These both require an increased level of risk assessment and full Fatigue Risk Management (FRM) approval. Unless an operator already holds an FRM approval, they will not be granted one with their initial EASA Subpart FTL scheme and therefore will not  initially be able to use these variations.
 
 


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