Jeppesen Study Highlights Inadequacy Of Strict FTL Rules To Limit Crew Fatigue


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Jeppesen Study Highlights Inadequacy Of Strict FTL Rules To Limit Crew Fatigue

By Steve Hall

November 1, 2011 - Jeppesen, recently released the results of a study conducted to determine the level of effectiveness of flight and duty time regulations related to crew fatigue management. In the study, Jeppesen quantified the performance of seven flight time limitation regulatory approaches (FTLs) that were measured against 300 of the largest airline fleets worldwide.   

The study highlights the inadequacy of using strict FTL rules to limit crew fatigue and instead proposes a shift in direction for the commercial aviation industry by focusing on interactive fatigue models that incorporate continuous data and feedback. 

In the study, more than 2,100 optimization simulations were conducted using Jeppesen Crew Pairing optimizer functionality. The results were analyzed in detail to calculate efficiency and safety differences between the FTLs that were studied. 

?This unique study of flight and duty time regulations allows us to quantify the effectiveness of the constraints under which airlines are operating,? said Tim Huegel, director, Jeppesen Aviation Portfolio Management. ?We believe that an analytic and scientific model-based approach to the crew fatigue issue will be critical for increasing overall flight safety in the commercial aviation industry as we move forward.?   

Newly proposed Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) flight time limitation regulatory approaches from the U.S. and Notices of Proposed Amendment (NPA) approaches from Europe were included in the study, to provide a wide range of regulatory guidelines that are used currently and will be used in the future by airlines to address crew fatigue factors.   

The Fatigue Data Collection (FDC) 2011 is the largest industry initiative to-date for collecting world-wide operational data on crew fatigue in airline operation.  FDC 2011 is a so called crowdsourcing activity aimed at collecting data across multiple regions and airline business models world-wide. The data will be used for correlation of so-called mathematical fatigue models as well as assess current state and compare between different types of operation.

The data collection is organized by Jeppesen in collaboration with the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University, Sweden. It is not a ?classical? scientific data collection survey as the participants are truly anonymous, making for example training more difficult. Jeppesen?s hope is that large quantities of data can compensate for lower control over the collection.


The expectation is that this initiative will be valuable for model development, establishing the relevance of applying current models, as well as pointing out similarities and differences between different types of operation and regulatory rules. Jeppesen next FDC is planned for April they are looking for volunteers. If you are interested you can register to take part in FDC2012. The first round Jeppesen had 250 crew participate, the next round they are hoping for over 500. For more information visit Jeppesen website.

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