Alexandria, VA, December 1, 2009 — Testifying before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportations Subcommittee on Aviation today, Flight Safety Foundation president and CEO, William R. Voss, called for the Federal Aviation Administration to incorporate fatigue risk management systems into any new rules proposed by the FAA.
“The FAA is faced with a daunting task. Human fatigue is too complex a subject to be dealt with using the classic approach of regulations and compliance,” Mr. Voss testified. “To deal with the problem of fatigue risk effectively, it is necessary to implement a comprehensive fatigue risk management system.”
Mr. Voss further noted the strong recommendation from the Flight Safety Foundation for allowing regulated controlled rest in the cockpit. “Controlled napping must never take the place of a good night’s sleep and sensible, scientifically defensible scheduling, but on occasion, a pilot may unexpectedly feel extra fatigued. It is far safer to have a procedure in place to allow the fatigued pilot to sleep for a prescribed amount of time with the full knowledge of the co-pilot and the rest of the flight crew.” Mr. Voss also commented that this was allowed in many other countries around the world and was based on NASA research.
The subcommittee had convened the hearing in order to study the problem of fatigue and how it affected aviation safety. Mr. Voss’ entire testimony can be found on the Flight Safety Foundation web site.
Flight Safety Foundation is an independent, non-profit, international organization engaged in research, auditing, education, advocacy and publishing to improve aviation safety. The Foundation’s mission is to pursue the continuous improvement of global aviation safety and the prevention of accidents. www.flightsafety.org
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