Air Canada Pilots Track Fatigue Incidents

TORONTO -The Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) has launched an initiative to track incidents of fatigue experienced by pilots flying the airline's mainline fleet.

"Pilot fatigue is a top safety concern for our members and a major issue that aviation authorities around the world are working to address," said Captain Barry Wiszniowski, Chair of ACPA's Technical and Safety Division. "As part of our mission to protect and promote aviation safety, Air Canada pilots are assuming a leadership role to ensure pilot fatigue is also addressed in Canada."

Under ACPA's fatigue tracking initiative, Air Canada pilots are documenting incidents of fatigue and contributing factors with an internationally-accepted form used by pilots at other major airlines to collect data on fatigue. Using this proven tool and scientifically-accepted collection and reporting methods, the pilots are creating a database that will be used to document fatigue in Canada and compare data with global industry standards.

The results will be shared with Air Canada to improve aviation safety by producing improved duty schedules that reduce the risk and incidence of pilot fatigue. The data will also be shared with Transport Canada, which regulates the allowable duty times for all pilots in Canada.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recently adopted new standards that require member countries, including Canada, to adopt science-based fatigue risk management systems.

Based on scientific studies of fatigue, the European Aviation Safety Agency has changed flight and duty times for all European carriers and many of its member countries have updated their flight duty regulations to limit the time on duty for pilots.

In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reviewing its flight-time and duty-time regulations in response to rising concern about pilot fatigue. The FAA's review comes in the wake of Congressional hearings into the February crash of a Colgan Air flight near Buffalo. At those hearings, U.S. lawmakers received evidence and testimony that pilot fatigue may have contributed to the Colgan accident.

Canada has not changed its pilot duty time regulations since 1996.

"We look forward to working in partnership with Air Canada to address the issue of efficient duty schedules. We also look forward to assisting the federal government on regulations that meet ICAO's requirements for a fatigue risk management system based on science and the factual data we collect," Captain Wiszniowski said. The pilot fatigue tracking initiative was revealed today at ACPA's International Winter Operations conference, which the pilots are sponsoring to promote safe aviation operations in winter conditions among global aviation organizations. ACPA's motto is "Safety with integrity".

The Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) is the largest professional pilot group in Canada, representing the more than 3,000 pilots who operate Air Canada's mainline fleet.

Paul Howard
Director of Communications
Air Canada Pilots Association
905-678-9008 ext. 222

Published on:Publié :
Oct 08, 200908 Oct 2009

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