Canada urged to enact new pilot fatigue rules

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) urges Canadian federal government to execute science-based fatigue rules for all commercial pilots in the country.

“Updating flight time/duty time and minimum rest requirements is one of the most important aviation safety initiatives for flight crews in Canada, and new rules are long overdue. However, recent efforts to weaken proposed rules are unacceptable. We cannot continue to let Canada fall behind on this vital step forward for aviation safety,” said Capt. Dan Adamus, ALPA Canada president.

The demand for new fatigue-related regulations in Canada is an on-going issue. Just last month – May 2, 2017 – Air Canada Pilots Association also launched a “Safer Skies” initiative which aims to raise society’s attention to the issue.

Back in July 2016, it was proposed that as of this year, large Canadian carriers (such as WestJet and Air Canada) would have a year to implement new fatigue regulations, while smaller carriers would have time until 2021.

However, skeptics argue that the pilot fatigue issue is difficult to evaluate objectively altogether, as people are bad at judging their own fatigue level, and off-duty factors (such as commuting to work) might have a huge influence on it as well.

According to current regulations, pilots in Canada can be scheduled to work for up to 14 hours. In the United States, Australia, India and the European Union the duration of a pilot’s shift varies between 9 and 13 hours and depends on the time of day when it was started.

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