Bill would extend pilot rest rules to cargo aircraft

January 16, 2013

Washington – Reps. Michael Grimm (R-NY) and Tim Bishop (D-NY) introduced a bill (.pdf file) in the House on Jan. 4 that would extend passenger-aircraft pilot rest rules (.pdf file) to cargo-aircraft pilots.

A similar bill introduced April 16, 2012, failed to move forward in the House.

If the bill is enacted, the pilot rest final rule, scheduled to go into effect Jan. 14, 2014, must be revised to encompass cargo aircraft pilots and include the following changes:

  • Maximum flight duty time will decrease to between 9 to 14 hours.
  • The minimum rest period will increase to 10 hours, with a mandate that pilots must receive eight hours of uninterrupted sleep within that time period.
  • Pilots must have at least 30 consecutive off-duty hours weekly, compared with the previous 24-hour minimum.

Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, International said in a Jan. 8 press release that cargo-aircraft pilots experience fatigue no differently than passenger-aircraft pilots.

At press time, the bill was under consideration in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.