July 7, 2011
Silence from Airlines: Study on pilot fatigue gets poor response
A study backed by Congress and sponsored by the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) on the potential dangers of long commutes and pilot fatigue was ignored by the majority of airlines asked to provide data. The National Research Council spearheaded the research, seeking to determine whether pilot commutes contribute to exhaustion that could compromise passenger safety.
Although the study determined that commutes can contribute to potentially dangerous pilot fatigue, not enough data was collected to support more stringent regulation. Of the 84 airlines asked to compile data on their pilots' commutes and fatigue policy, only 33 responded. Furthermore, of the 33 airlines that responded, only some could provide complete answers to the questions posed.
In a report by ABC News, Motley Rice aviation lawyer and former Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation Mary Schiavo voiced her frustration in response to the airlines' lack of cooperation. "That's unacceptable. No wonder we don't have this data. It shows the airlines really don't want to know," she said.
Read the full article on the pilot fatigue study by ABC News.