US Dept of Transportation extends rest hours for flight attendants

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The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a final rule that requires US flight attendants to receive longer periods of rest between shifts.

The new rule increases the period to 10 consecutive hours from the previous nine. 

“Flight attendants, like all essential transportation workers, work hard every day to keep the traveling public safe, and we owe them our full support,” US Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement

“This new rule will make it easier for flight attendants to do their jobs, which in turn will keep all of us safe in the air,” Buttigieg added.

“Flight attendants perform critical safety roles. This rule puts them and safety first,” said acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen.  

The new rule also fulfills the requirements of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which directed the FAA to increase the minimum rest period for flight attendants with scheduled duty of 14 hours or less.

In October 2021, the FAA proposed a regulation to increase the minimum rest period of flight attendants working in domestic, flag, and supplemental operations.

“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,” then-FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said regarding the proposed regulation.

The FAA said it held two public comment periods totaling more than 105 days on the proposed rest requirement in 2019 and 2021. The FAA also reviewed over 1,000 comments from flight attendants, airlines and the public.

The new rule will be effective 30 days after the date of publication in the US Federal Register, and compliance is required 90 days after that.


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