Pilot association files petition over FAA pilot fatigue ruling

Washington – The Independent Pilots Association on Dec. 22 filed a Petition for Review (.pdf file) challenging the Federal Aviation Administration’s exclusion of cargo aircraft operators from its final rule (.pdf file) on pilot fatigue, released in December.

According to an FAA fact sheet, the rule mandates new regulations on duty time and sleep for all pilots – except those in cargo operations, whose employers can voluntarily opt in to the new rule. In a press release, IPA General Counsel William Trent said FAA cited nighttime flying and crossing multiple time zones as key factors of pilot fatigue, but was inconsistent by not mandating cargo aircraft operators – which are more susceptible to these factors – to follow the new regulations. He also disagreed with FAA’s rationale for excluding cargo operations based on a cost-benefit analysis.

IPA will file additional court papers detailing specific issues the organization expects to raise in the case, according to the press release. IPA is the collective bargaining unit representing professional pilots who fly in service of United Parcel Service.

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