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India Takes Proactive Measures to Address Aviation Crew Fatigue

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India has implemented changes to flight crew regulations, focusing on aligning them with international best practices to effectively manage fatigue-related safety risks. This move comes in response to recent reports of pilot deaths, with fatigue and stress being cited as contributing factors. 


Revised Flight Duty Regulations

The updated regulations have undergone comprehensive analysis, considering input from various stakeholders, including airline operators, pilot associations, and individuals. Key changes include: 


1. Increased Weekly Rest Periods:   

The regulations now mandate an extension of weekly rest periods for flight crew from 36 to 48 hours. This adjustment aims to provide sufficient time for recovery from cumulative fatigue. 


2. Night Duty Definition Amendment:  

The definition of night has been modified, including a one-hour extension in the early morning, ensuring more leisure time for aviation crew. 


3. Restrictions on Maximum Flight Time and Duty Periods During Night Operations:  

Recognising the challenges that come with different time zones, the revised regulations impose restrictions on maximum flight time and duty periods during nighttime operations. The limits are set at 8 hours of flight time and 10 hours of flight duty. Additionally, the number of landings during night operations is now limited to two. 


4.Quarterly Fatigue Reports Mandate: 

 DGCA has mandated that all airline operators submit quarterly fatigue reports, including details about actions taken based on the analysis. A non-punitive and confidentiality policy is emphasized for these fatigue reports. 


5.Response to Recent Incidents:  

The decision to revise these regulations stems from recent incidents highlighting the toll of fatigue on aviation crew. Pilot deaths and concerns about an exponential rise of airline mishaps have prompted a review of pilot fatigue data to determine the necessity of policy changes. 

Final thoughts  

Brookfield Aviation International strongly supports the proactive measures taken by India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to address aviation crew fatigue. Prioritising the safety and well-being of aviation personnel, we encourage the industry to adopt these initiatives, including extended weekly rest periods and restrictions on maximum flight time during night operations. The quarterly fatigue reports mandate, with its emphasis on transparency and a non-punitive approach, signifies a commendable commitment to addressing fatigue-related safety risks. Brookfield Aviation remains dedicated to promoting initiatives that enhance safety standards and prioritise the overall well-being of aviation professionals. 


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