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Thursday, February 11, 2016
Flight Attendant Fatigue Update – LAA/LUS
Dear Flight Attendant:
In a hearing today of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, an amendment to the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act increasing the minimum rest requirements for Flight Attendants was agreed to in a bipartisan vote.
The AIRR Act is a six-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration. Overall, the bill is controversial and does not have the support of many Democrats. It is not clear if or when the bill will be brought to the floor of the House for a vote. It is also unclear how motivated the Senate may be to take up an FAA reauthorization effort. What is known, however, is that an amendment that addresses Flight Attendant fatigue is now included in the House bill!
The amendment states that a Flight Attendant scheduled to a duty period of fourteen (14) hours or less must be given a scheduled rest period of ten (10) consecutive hours, defined as the time from gate arrival to gate departure. It also requires carriers to submit to the FAA a fatigue risk management plan. The plan must be approved by the FAA and following that approval, any violation of the plan will result in civil penalties.
While APFA supports the amendment, and thanks Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA) for offering it, ten (10) hours is not enough for our members. Should this legislation eventually become law, very few of our trips and sequences will be affected nor does it address any of our international flying. However, many of our brothers and sisters at regional carriers, who so often help us commute throughout the system, will see substantial improvements to their rest periods as a result of this new legislation. For Flight Attendants at mainline carriers and APFA in particular, the work continues.
APFA is committed to pursuing a comprehensive solution to the problems that arise from overworked and under-rested Flight Attendants. So while we welcome today’s news and the incremental improvement it may eventually provide, ten hours is not enough. Go to We Are RestLESS at APFA.org for more information.
To receive updates on this legislation and other initiatives of the APFA Government Affairs Department, join the Government Affairs team by emailing email@example.com
APFA National Government Affairs Chair