Some 180 aviation industry representatives participated in a workshop on flight time limitation (FTL) rules and fatigue risk management (FRM), giving their views on European rules which have been in force for more than two years.

The event, held May 24, was organized by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and was the third to be held.

European crew members, airlines and authorities gave feedback and insights on the implementation of the rules and into how authorities oversee the region’s airlines’ FTL schemes.

EASA flight standards director Jesper Rasmussen said, “In the past, flight time rules have often created tension, between employers and employees and between airlines and authorities.

“Europe’s flight time rules are science- and performance-based and call for a change of mentality. Those rules also call for closer and enhanced safety partnership between regulators, airlines and their crews. EASA’s role is to put safety first and to support our industry in managing fatigue responsibly."

EASA said it would continue to support implementation of FTL rules and had established a dedicated FTL/FRM expert group of national authority inspectors that will further share good practices and promote a common understanding of the European FTL/FRM framework. In addition, EASA will continue to focus on FTL related issues during its standardization activities of EU Member States, the agency said.

The workshop touched on issues including ensuring safe and efficient crew planning, individual FTL schemes and how they work in practice, the process involved in approving a deviation from the FTL scheme as well as fatigue risk management schemes and best practices regarding fatigue training for air crew and airlines.

Helen Massy-Beresford,