FAA to reconsider excluding cargo pilots from rest periods rule

May 23, 2012

Washington – The Federal Aviation Administration will revisit its decision to exclude cargo aircraft pilots from a final rule (.pdf file) issued Jan. 4 on pilot rest periods.

FAA filed a motion (.pdf file) on May 17 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reopen its ruling, admitting it made errors “calculating scope and costs” when deciding to exclude cargo pilots from the regulation. Scheduled to go into effect in January 2014, the final rule addresses the safety risks associated with pilot fatigue by decreasing pilots’ maximum on-duty time and increasing maximum rest time.

The motion is in response to an Independent Pilots Association petitioner’s brief (.pdf file) claiming FAA succumbed to cargo aircraft carrier pressures to exclude those pilots and did not provide the public sufficient time to comment. The motion would allow FAA to issue a supplemental regulatory evaluation and provide an additional public commenting period.