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NBAA Releases New Fatigue, Fitness For Duty Guidelines

April 22, 2014 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) released a new safety resource, “Duty/Rest Guidelines for Business Aviation,” last week at the Business Aviation Safety Seminar in San Diego, CA. 

The 16-page report, a joint effort with the Flight Safety Foundation, is the culmination of nine months of work by the Fatigue Task Force of NBAA’s Safety Committee and addresses one of the committee’s Top Safety Focus Areas. 

“We developed these guidelines after significant scientific review, extensive analysis of industry practices and industry feedback,” said Leigh White, president of Alertness Solutions and lead of NBAA’s Fatigue Task Force. “Our goal was to present the latest data and guidance – both rooted in science – to company and flight department management to help educate them about how to best use their crews.” 

White said that the new document takes into consideration scientific advances since the first duty/rest guidelines were published 17 years ago and presents “clear and unassailable” guidelines and recommendations. The latest research on fatigue and information on fatigue management practices is also presented. Panels composed of a number of the world’s leading industry leaders and scientific experts participated in the updating process, said White, adding that the International Civil Aviation Organization and International Business Aviation Council both plan on publishing the report’s findings in the future. 

In the report’s foreword, White notes that the intent was to provide “a useful tool that is practical and easy to understand and implement. These guidelines hopefully will set the cornerstone of every fatigue management effort in this sector of aviation, with both their design and recommendations easily incorporated into any operator’s flight operations manual.” 

The guidelines are applicable to any kind of business aviation operation, from the smallest domestic operator to the largest international flight department.

“The new duty/rest guidelines provide the strong foundation upon which business aircraft operators worldwide can start to reexamine how they approach crews’ fitness for duty,” said Peter Korns, NBAA operations specialist. “Fatigue touches everyone in the flight department, and while our industry is committed to developing better safety practices, these guidelines should be the driving force of advanced thinking about duty/rest policies and fatigue management techniques.”



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