OTTAWA, Nov. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - The Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l (ALPA) today hailed a government advisory group's proposal for modernizing pilot flight- and duty-time regulations and rest requirements in Canada. Transport Canada's Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council (CARAC) Technical Committee convened this week to review the recommendations of the CARAC Flight Crew Fatigue Management Working Group, which made public its report in September.
"This proposal marks important progress in our continuing efforts to combat pilot fatigue and improve air safety throughout Canada," said Capt. Martin Gauthier, ALPA's representative on the working group. "ALPA urges the Transport Minister to implement the recommendations contained in the working group's report as soon as possible."
ALPA has long advocated for modern, science-based fatigue rules that would apply to all pilots in Canada. "Fatigue affects pilots in all segments of the industry regardless of the type of operation," Capt. Gauthier, who also serves as chairman of ALPA's Canadian Flight-Time/Duty-Time (FT/DT) Committee, said in commending Transport Canada's decision to ask the working group to develop proposals that would apply to all operators and flight crews.
Canada's current rules, drafted in 1965 and slightly amended in 1996, "do not take into account the latest scientific principles and knowledge on human fatigue, making them inadequate to protect the traveling public and flight crews," Capt. Gauthier explained. ALPA believes that adequate prescriptive flight- and duty-time regulations, combined with fatigue risk management systems, are essential to advancing the highest safety standards.
The proposed recommendations are the result of a two-year cooperative effort by the 11-member advisory group, which was formed in 2010 to evaluate and propose amendments to current regulations relating to pilot fatigue management. The working group included representatives from government, pilot labour groups, and operators in Canada, and was co-chaired by Capt. Dan Adamus, ALPA's Canada Board president, and Jacqueline Booth, chief Technical Program Evaluation and Coordination, Standards, TCCA.
Although ALPA does not concur with some specific recommendations—most notably, the proposals related to limitations on flight time and cumulative duty hours—the Association believes that most have solid scientific backing and are in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO's) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) on fatigue management.
In expressing ALPA's support for the working group's overall proposal, Capt. Gauthier said, "Canada's current regulations regarding flight crew fatigue are among the most liberal in the world. Implementation of the working group's recommendations will correct that and bring Canadian regulations in line with those in the rest of the world."
Now that the report has been tabled, a public comment period will follow. Transport Canada will then make the final recommendations for drafting of the regulation, a process that involves Canada's Justice Department. ALPA will continue to be fully engaged in the next steps to ensure the process results in new science-based regulations for all flight crews in Canada.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world's largest pilot union, representing nearly 51,000 pilots at 35 airlines in the United States and Canada, including the 2,800 Canadian flight crewmembers who fly for Air Transat, Bearskin, Calm Air, Canadian North, CanJet, Jazz, Kelowna Flightcraft, and Wasaya. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
SOURCE: Air Line Pilots Association, Intl
For further information: