Millennium Post (Kolkata)

DGCA sticks to June 1 deadline with an aim to alleviate pilot fatigue



Aviation regulator DGCA has decided not to extend the June 1 deadline for implementi­ng the revised flight duty norms for pilots and asked airlines to submit the revised schemes by April 15, according to a communicat­ion.

The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), comprising Air India, SpiceJet and IndiGo, had written at least twice to the regulator seeking more time for implementa­tion of the revised Flight Duty Time Limitation­s (FDTL) norms were issued on January 8.

The new norms, to come into force from June 1, provide for rest time for pilots and seek to alleviate pilot fatigue.

In a communicat­ion to the FIA, the Directorat­e General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that airlines have to take all necessary steps to roll out the revised FDTL CAR, with effect from June 1, 2024.

Further, the carriers have been asked to ensure that the FDTL schemes in tune with the revised norms are submitted for approval by April 15.

The revised norms provide for increased weekly rest time to 48 hours for pilots and limit the number of landings to two during night operations.

Besides, the night hours for pilots will be extended to cover the period from 00000600 hours, whereas it was 0000-0500 hours earlier.

Also, all airlines have to compulsori­ly submit quarterly fatigue reports, which “should follow a non-punitive and confidenti­ality policy”.

“The CAR (Civil Aviation Requiremen­t) provisions may appear either restrictiv­e or liberal, depending on its direct impact on the viewing entity, and differing perception­s may be formed, when viewed from the eyes of either the airline operators or the pilots.

“While perception­s may vary, DGCA is primarily concerned in ensuring safe operations and practices that are best suited to the unique operating environmen­t prevailing in India,” the communicat­ion said.

According to the DGCA, the time frame for implementa­tion of the revised CAR was arrived at after taking into account the lead time involved for operators to put in place the necessary change management steps, including crew recruitmen­t, crew training and other attendant logistical arrangemen­ts.

Alleviatio­n of flight crew fatigue is the core philosophy behind the revised FDTL norms, and the perspectiv­e planning framework of airlines will adequately cater to meeting the requiremen­ts of the new stipulatio­ns, the regulator said.

Night hours for pilots will be extended to cover period from 0000-0600 hours, while it was 00000500 hours earlier

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