US FAA seeks increased minimum rest periods for flight attendants between shifts
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a regulation to increase the minimum rest period of flight attendants working in domestic, flag, and supplemental operations.
The proposed rule would increase the rest period of flight attendants by one hour to 10 consecutive hours when scheduled for a duty period of 14 hours or less.
Currently, the Flight Attendant Duty Limitations and Rest Requirements states that flight attendants scheduled to a duty period of 14 hours or less must be given a scheduled rest period of at least nine consecutive hours. This rest period must occur between the completion of the scheduled duty period and the commencement of the subsequent duty period.
In 2018, under the FAA Reauthorization Act, the United States Congress directed the FAA to increase the minimum rest period for flight attendants with scheduled duty of 14 hours. The Reauthorization Act also required the FAA to prohibit a reduction of the rest period under any circumstances.
In September 2019, the FAA invited the public to submit initial comments ahead of its proposed rule released October 21, 2021. The FAA also reached out to air carriers who will be subject to the new requirements.
"The Biden-Harris Administration is proud to advance policies that protect and empower workers. This proposal will contribute to a safer, healthier workplace for flight attendants," said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in the FAA’s statement.
“Flight attendants play a critical safety role in keeping passengers safe on every flight and especially in emergencies. This proposal helps reduce fatigue so they can perform this critical role,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson also said in the statement.
Members of the public have 60 days to comment on the draft rule once it is published in the Federal Register. The FAA will then publish a final rule after the comment period closes.
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