Pilots association releases statement on sleep poll

Washington – The Air Line Pilots Association, International on March 6 released a statement on a National Sleep Foundation workplace sleep poll (.pdf file) that found 11 percent of airline pilots surveyed admitted to working while feeling sleepy. The poll’s findings demonstrate that sleepiness and fatigue among pilots pose a “serious risk” and are roadblocks to pilots’ “commitment to achieving the highest standards of safety,” the statement said.

The association argues that the Federal Aviation Administration’s final rule (.pdf file) on flight crew rest requirements, released in December 2011, may improve rest and fatigue levels for passenger carrier pilots but should be expanded to include pilots of cargo aircraft.

“Of grave concern … is that the regulation excluded pilots who fly cargo from these safety regulations due to concerns about cost to their airlines,” Captain Lee Moak, president of ALPA, said in the statement. “ALPA’s adamant position is that, regardless of whether the pilot flies passengers or cargo, all airline pilots are human beings and deserve equal protection from fatigue under FAA regulations,” he said.

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