180 participants from the European aviation industry participated in a workshop organized by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on flight time limitation (FTL) rules and fatigue risk management (FRM).

This workshop is the third FTL workshop organized by EASA to gain valuable feedback and insights from airlines on the implementation of the rules and into how authorities oversee Europe’s airlines’ FTL schemes.

Opening the EASA workshop, EASA Flight Standards Director, Mr Jesper Rasmussen said: “In the past, flight time rules have often created tension, between employers and employees and between airlines and authorities. Europe’s flight time rules have now been in force for more than 2 years. This is the right time to take stock and evaluate them. Europe’s flight time rules are science and performance based and call for a change of mentality. Those rules also call for closer and enhanced safety partnership between regulators, airlines and their crews. EASA’s role is to put safety first and to support our industry in managing fatigue responsibly.”

The workshop touched upon those areas where EASA has received a number of questions from stakeholders.

  • How can we ensure safe and efficient crew planning?
  • What is an individual FTL scheme and how does it work in practice?
  • What is the process involved in approving a deviation from the FTL scheme?
  • What is a fatigue risk management scheme and best practice examples on shared responsibility of both aircrew and airlines and fatigue training?

The workshop allowed participants to learn from each other, to provide information on good practices and tools, and to share experience on implementation of smart fatigue solutions.

Looking into the future, EASA will continue to support implementation of FTL rules and has established a dedicated FTL/FRM expert group of national authority inspectors that will further share good practices and promote a common understanding of the European FTL/FRM framework. In addition, EASA will continue to focus on FTL related issues during its standardisation activities of EU Member States.