CONSULTATIVE STATEMENT FROM THE FEDERATION OF NORWEGIAN AVIATION INDUSTRIES RELATING TO NPA No. 2010 -14 ATO BE SUBMITED TO THE EASA
The Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries regards it as positive that a common European regulatory framework is being laid down granting all companies equal opportunities and limitations while banning the use of additional national provisions. This serves to provide a sound basis for more equal competition between operators. In the opinion of the Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries, this is vital in order to maintain an active and sustainable corporate structure within this field.
The Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries also regards it as positive that the proposed amendments to Subpart Q generally are more concrete than the current framework. This provides less leeway for interpretations. For example it is positive that the different types of rest arrangements have been defined. Another example that we support is the fact that cockpit and flight crew are permitted a ten-hour rest period at home base through the use of hotels. Another positive proposal that we would like to draw attention to is the fact that “reduced rest” now has been given a clear definition.
Re-planning before and after reporting time is unclear. It should always be possible to reschedule both before and after reporting time in case of unforeseen circumstances as long as the applicable limits (max FDP etc) are respected. This is important since there will always be a need for changes at any moment to some rosters / flight schedules due to operational conditions that could not be predicted when the initial rosters were constructed.
Text/definitions that should be clarified
5.9 Commander’s discretion, pages 102-106
Furthermore it is clear from the text pertaining to Commander’s discretion, paragraph 5.9, that greater focus has been placed on the fact that the commander is obligated to clarify with his/her crew rather than on the expressed content of the commander’s authority.
The terms ‘sector´and ‘landing’ are used interchangeably. The Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries is therefore of the opinion that it would be advantageous to define the term ‘sector’.
OR.OPS.FTL. 105, Rest Facility page 216
The fact that reduced rest may be used at home base in cases where the company covers hotel expenses should also be included under definitions and not just in the text itself.
OR.OPS.FTL.200, page 218, and Appendix X
Flight time specification schemes have been described in great detail, pointing out what a computer system shall be able to handle. Not everything that is described here is as easily accessible to the companies in their current systems, and consequently some changes need to be implemented, meaning that we must allow some time for implementation before the new rules can enter into force.
OR.OPS.FTL.105, page 215
‘Acclimatized’: a crew member is considered to be acclimatized to the WOCL of the time zone where he/she is in when he/she has spent at least 36 consecutive hours free of duty or 72 hours conducting duties in an area within 3 hours of time. Until that time the crew member remains acclimatized to his/her previously acclimatized time zone.
Comment: The definition should be the same as the time zone difference which refers to 4 time zones (FTL 1.235-2 (2)).
OR.OPS.FTL.105 page 215
Definition – Duty
“Flight duty period …., - at the end of the last flight on which he/she acts as a crew member.”
Comment: Text should be clarified, suggest “he/she acts as an operating crew member”.
‘Duty’ means any task that a crew member is required to perform by the operator, including flight duty, administrative work, training, positioning and standby
Comment: Unclear definition. Standby, e.g. home standby will not always count as full duty.
Should be changed to; Duty means any task that a crew member is required to perform by the operator, including flight duty, administrative work, training, position and some aspects of standby as specified in the applicable rules related to standby.
OR.OPS.FTL.210 Flight Duty Period (FDP), page 218
(a) The operator shall establish procedures specifying how the commander shall — in case of special circumstances which could lead to severe fatigue, and after consultation with the crew members affected — reduce the actual FDP and/or increase the rest period in order to eliminate any detrimental effect on flight safety.
Comment: This new requirement is unclear. Should be deleted and should be realigned with Subpart Q Ops 1.1090 paragraph 4 (Crew members responsibilities); ”A crew member shall not operate an aeroplane if he/she knows that he/she is suffering from fatigue or feels unfit, to the extent that the flight might be endangered. Crew member shall make optimum use of the opportunities and facilities for rest provided and plan and use their rest periods properly”.
(c)(5) Conditions under which the FDP, the flight times and duty periods may be exceeded or rest periods may be reduced by the commander after consultation with all crew members, in the case of unforeseen circumstances in flight operations after the reporting time, and the procedures used to report these modifications.
Comment: The text should be amended to make it clear that “flight operations” start at the reporting time: It is a possibility that “flight operations “is interpret as being the flight only and not the briefing time before a flight: “Conditions under which the FDP, the flight times and duty periods may be exceeded or rest periods may be reduced by the commander after consultation with all crew members, in the case of unforeseen circumstances in flight operations which starts at the reporting time, and the procedures used to report these modifications.”
OR.OPS. FTL.230 (a), page 219
“Standby duty shall be rostered and the affected crew members shall be notified in advance”.
Comment: This should not apply to re-planning in actual flight operations. There is often a need to re-plan crew (for example crew who were originally assigned to conduct a flight which has been cancelled and who is therefore re-planned into standby). Suggest amending this paragraph to read ‘(a) Standby shall be rostered and the affected crew members shall be notified in advance, except when re-planned into standby’
Appendix X – Flight Time Specification Schemes
FTL.1.210 Flight Duty Period (FDP), page 222
1 — Maximum daily FDP
(a) Maximum daily FDP without the use of extensions.
The maximum basic daily FDP shall be 13 hours. This period:
· shall be reduced by 30 minutes for each sector from the third sector onwards;
· and shall be further reduced in accordance with the limits specified in the table below when the WOCL is encroached.
Comment: We are strongly supporting this text which describes a 30 minute reduction from the 3rd sector onwards.
FTL.1.210 Flight Duty Period (FDP)
Table 36: Maximum daily FDP without extension, page 223
The EASA proposal seems to be based on the theoretical encroachment of the WOCL and results in a table which is a little bit more restrictive. We therefore request to conduct another SAFE model analysis on the table based on the actual encroachment of the WOCL and to take a final decision based on this basis.
FTL.1.210 Flight Duty Period (FDP), page 224
Table 37 Max daily FDP with extension
Comment: The table 37 is seems to be using different kinds of calculations. In addition, the 1h limitation has been added to basic FDP and thereafter reduced by the sectors limitation and the WOCL limitation. In Subpart Q the basic FDP should first be reduced by the sectors limitation and then reduced by the WOCL factor and then the 1h extension added. This means that table 37 should be based on table 36 with 1h added. We would therefore request to change table 37 in line with the in our view correct calculation.
(c) The minimum in-flight rest period shall be a consecutive 90-minute period for each crew member and 2 consecutive hours for those crew members at control during landing, page 225
Comment: It should be sufficient with a consecutive 90 minute rest period. Suggest amending to read; minimum in-flight rest period available shall be a consecutive 90-minute period for each crew member.
1. Stakeholders are invited to comment and provide justification elements on the possible safety, social and economic impact of the proposal, as well as on the proposed related definitions of positioning, travelling, etc.
Answer: The current 50 km limitation is probably too restrictive and has no scientific basis/safety justification. The current EASA proposal will possibly jeopardize some operations from airports in an area beyond 50 km. A suggestion could be to delete the time limit and use a 100 km distance which refers to about 90 minutes travelling time.
2. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the potential safety impact of FDP extensions considering the associated mitigating measures, and make proposals for further/other possible mitigating measures for extension on FDP starting in the evening.
Answer: As far as the Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries is aware of, no safety risks has been uncovered by planning for a period of up to 14 days where only two extensions may be implemented over a period of 7 days. Extended workdays mean extended rest, which again means that a person cannot be utilized fully the following day. Moreover it is up to the crew members themselves to ensure that they get sufficient rest both before and after being on duty.
The Subpart Q calculation has been confirmed as safe based on the SAFE modeling except for extensions when the FDP starts in the period between 18h00 and 20h59. For extensions in this period, SAFE modeling highlighted potential issues. A method should therefore be developed to reduce the extension during this specific period unless additional fatigue mitigation measures are applied.
3. Stakeholders are invited to comment whether they consider the proposal to keep the Subpart Q criterion, with the refined definition of “Acclimatised” accurate enough, to describe the phenomenon of acclimatization and to effectively counter fatigue-related risks.
Answer: Subpart Q criteria are sufficient. There is no need to develop sub-tables
4. Stakeholders are invited to comment and provide justification elements on the safety and economic aspects of the possible use of economy class seats as a rest facility.
Answer: The Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries supports the proposal relating to a differentiation of the extensions pertaining to flight time depending on the rest facilities. The proposal concerning the introduction of 15, 16 and 17 hours instead of 75 %, 56 % and 25 %, seem sensible. In our view, this provision will be easier to handle.
Class 1 rest facilities could refer to both bunks as well as rest facilities in an aircraft cabin that allows for flat or near flat sleeping position and Class 2 rest facilities should refer to a seat in an aircraft cabin or flight deck that reclines at least 40 degrees. We do not agree with the proposed text which implies that rest in an economy seat is not possible. It is recognized that with a rest facility of a lower standard more rest is needed to achieve the same level of recovery from fatigue.
5. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the validity of the principle that maximum FDP with augmented crew could be irrespective of the WOCL.
Answer: The Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries agrees with the principle that the FDP with augmented crew could be irrespective of the WOCL. In our opinion, this is a logical proposal as sleep is normally deeper and better during the period WOCL. Maximum FDP with augmented crew will therefore be necessary irrespective of the WOCL. In addition, this provision, such as it is planned, will be much more expedient and easier to execute, both with regard to planning and implementation.
6. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the more appropriate and safety effective measures to limit the fragmentation of sleep. Their views are also requested on the need to limit augmented crew operations to 3 sectors.
Answer: It should be sufficient that as much as 90 consecutive minutes are available. We disagree with the provision limiting the number of sectors for an augmented crew to 3 as this is covered by the FDP limitations (Number of sectors). As a result, this will basically limit itself. It should be taken into consideration that such an FDP may contain several destinations in addition to refuel stops.
Even if litra (h) is not referred to in the questions, The Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries would like to comment on this paragraph. For operators with several bases and a flexible crew, it will be extremely limiting that the entire crew will have to check in at the same location, and that part of the crew cannot be positioned in advance of an FDP.
7. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the appropriateness of the values proposed in the table on minimum in-flight rest duration for Cabin Crew.
Answer: The basis for the proposed in-flight rest for cabin crew extensions is not clear and inconsistent with those for flight crew. Like for augmented flight crew, the in-flight rest shall not be specified for ‘FDP extension’, but for ‘extended FDP’. Unlike flight crew the minimum in-flight rest table of cabin crew (used for planning purposes) is related to the length of FDP and type of rest facility. In this way it is recognized that for a rest facility of a lower standard more rest might be needed to achieve the same level of recovery from fatigue.
It should also be clarified that this table is only for planning purposes and that it should refer to minimum planned in-flight rest.
The Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries questions the proposed provision with reference to the following example: Given that the crew is requested to check in at 1700 hrs and provided that the entire crew, both cabin and cockpit is given the opportunity of a two-hour bunk-rest onboard the aircraft, this will have unfortunate consequences as the cockpit crew will have a limitation of 17 hours maximum FDP whereas for the cabin crew, the limitation will be a maximum of 14 hours FDP (14 hours according to the table + an FDP extension of up to three hours).
8. With the commander’s discretion provisions, the maximum daily FDP when added to the FTL.1.210 1 (b) 1 hour extension, may reach 16 hours for flight crew, and possibly 17 hours for Cabin Crews when applying FTL.1.210 1 (c).Stakeholders are invited to comment on the safety implications of this provision.
Answer: The current provisions in Subpart Q should be maintained with maximum 15 hours for 2 pilot operation and maximum 16 hours for augmented crew during CDR’s discretion.
Generally speaking it is safe to say that it is extremely rare that one opts to extend the duty period to 16 hours in cases of unforeseen incidents. Moreover the commander will have the final say after consulting his/her crew.
The Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries would also like to comment on litra (a) concerning Maximal daily FDP without the use of extensions” in FTL.1.210. A maximum reduction in FDP, with a minimum of 30 minutes per sector from and including sector 3, should also apply to each sector from and including no. 7, for instance limited to apply for production with an average sector-time of less than 30 minutes for the relevant production. If such limitations are not introduced, over 15 landings may be produced for example within the existing route network on the regional short runways in Norway. For safety reasons, the companies that are currently operating this network choose to limit themselves to 10 planned sectors in one FDP. If no limitations are stipulated, the current competition situation could serve to produce an FDP with more landings than what we consider to be justifiable from a safety standpoint.
For flights with short sector length for example in the regional network in Norway with CI prior to 05h00 (night flying) such a limitation would result in an FDP reduction of +/÷ 4 hours. We choose to regard this as an unintentional result of the fact that the regulatory framework fail to consider short distance flights to a sufficient degree. The proposed provision would also challenge the need to observe an even circadian rhythm in the following days on duty.
The fatigue effect of the numbers of sectors and approaches to landing flown is quite different during winter and summer conditions in the Nordic countries. There are probably many challenging flight operations throughout Europe. In the Nordic countries, however, the winter brings months of perceptual darkness and a difficult operational environment under marginal weather conditions.
9. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the potential safety impact of the proposal on short-term re-planning.
Answer: It is important that re-planning resulting from irregularities can be implemented. In our view this would not mean a greater safety risk as the system already has a safety net in place through other rules, such as maximum FDP and maximum duty as well as consultations with the crew, which collectively serve to safeguard the necessary limitations. From the operator’s point of view, the opportunity to implement re-planning is absolutely necessary. If this opportunity is abolished, major traffic problems may occur, especially in the winter.
10. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the proposed Split Duty Provisions.
Answer: We agree that split duty based on CAP 371 is a good scientific basis for the EASA rules. Years of operational experience with those rules has not lead to any safety incidents. In the experience of the Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries, no safety problems linked to split duty have been documented as long as adequate limitations are respected.
The proposal relating to that maximum FDP may be increased by 50 % of the break constitutes a much poorer solution than the current arrangement in which breaks over 4 hours are not included in the FDP, and consequently the entire time set aside for the break, if it exceeds 4 hours, may be used as FDP. The Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries would recommend that based on the experience of aviation companies, the current arrangement is upheld.
FTL 1.225c should be formulated differently. In its current form, it is difficult to see the difference between the terms “suitable accommodation” and ”accommodation”.
11. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the more appropriate limit for standby duty duration and, if limits above 12 hours are proposed, to make suggestions and appropriate mitigating measures to ensure that crew are properly rested before reporting.
Answer: Maximum standby duty is proposed reduced to 12 hours as opposed to 14 hours, which is the current limit.
There is no safety justification to impose a 12h limitation for standby at home. In order to avoid an increase in crew cost, the maximum time for standby at home should be increased to 16h00 as a minimum. This would still give a possibility for an 8h sleep opportunity.
The proposal relating to a reduction in the maximum standby duty duration to 12 from 14 hours would serve to increase staff costs severely. In order to operate round trip flights from for instance Norway to the Canary Islands, the companies will be forced to use airport standby. Moreover it will have to be made clear in the definition that the maximum standby time refers to the actual standby duty and not to the time at which an employee must finish his/her standby duty in order to comply with the rules. The crew must consequently be permitted to operate in excess of 12 hours if they are called on standby duty. The current standby system, as it has been safeguarded by the Scandinavian joint framework functions well, and should alternatively be transposed into the European common framework. Normally, standby duty will take place at home or in a hotel. In both cases, it is up to each individual crew member to ensure that he/she gets sufficient rest.
12. Stakeholders are invited to comment on how much they consider Standby Duty at home or in a suitable accommodation should count for the calculation of duty cumulative limits.
Answer: The proposal of 25% is a reasonable compromise between different national rules which all have proven to be safe. However, it is very important that it relates to cumulative duty limits only.
13. The definitions used in this NPA for early start and late finishes are respectively an FDP starting in the 05:00-05:59 hr period and an FDP finishing in the 01:00-01:58 hr period. Stakeholders are invited to comment whether they consider those definitions are pertinent in the context of the proposed provisions for disruptive schedules.
Answer: The definitions used in this NPA for early start and late finishes are respectively an FDP starting in the 05h00-05h59 period and an FDP finishing in the 01h00-01h59 period (see page 18). We agree with these definitions.
14. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the proposal on Reduced Rest, and especially on the lower limit of 7h30 rest, he limitation to Regional Operations and the combination with other provisions such as split duty
Answer: We agree in the regulation on the reduced rest including the proposal where reduced rest can be used after split duty. We also support the limitations in 1.235 (d).
The Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries finds the proposed provisions relating to rest in connection with time zone differences to be satisfactory. We also feel that it would be beneficial that the proposed rule stating that the operators are responsible for ensuring that the crew gets sufficient rest at home base and consequently that the entire rest period be regarded as rest away from home, and moreover that this provision be included in the framework governing minimum rest.