DGCA increases weekly rest hours for flight crew

New Delhi, Jan 8 (UNI) Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has increased the weekly resting period for flight crews from 36 hours to 48 hours, the Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement on Monday here.

According to the revised Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL) regulations issued by DGCA, the definition of night has been amended, which now covers the period of 0000-0600 hours instead of the previous 0000-0500 hours. This enhancement of one hour during early morning will ensure adequate rest and also align the night duty period which encompasses Window of Circadian Low (WOCL) from 0200-0600 hours i.e. the time during which the circadian body clock cycle is at its lowest in terms of alertness, the Ministry said.

The revised regulations have taken into consideration for different types of operations across time zones. The maximum flight time and maximum flight duty period for flight operations encroaching night have been restricted to 8 hours flight time and 10 hours flight duty period, respectively. The number of landings during night operations is now limited to two, in contrast to the previous maximum of six landings, enhancing overall flight safety, it said.

DGCA has mandated that all airline operators shall submit quarterly fatigue reports after analysis, including the Action Taken on such reports. Further, it has been stipulated that the fatigue reports shall follow a non-punitive and confidentiality policy, the Ministry said.

Additionally, DGCA envisions the adoption of a new fatigue management system called the Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) in the future. The revised FDTL regulation is a stepping stone towards FRMS implementation in India. FRMS is a data-driven approach to enhance monitoring and reporting of flight crew fatigue, it added.

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