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Qantas Fatigue Risk Management Trial

February 25, 2019 Aviation No Comments

The Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) has raised concerns about CASA’s decision to permit Qantas to trial a Fatigue Risk Management System.

AIPA President Mark Sedgwick said the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) had failed to reply to AIPAs concerns before approving the trial.

“AIPA remains a supporter of the modernisation of Australia’s aviation fatigue risk management framework but it must be done with better consultation from CASA with pilots and between Qantas and its pilots.”

Mr Sedgwick said the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recommends airlines, safety regulators and pilot associations enter into arrangements to address fatigue management.

“However CASA has refused to enter into arrangements on this issue that extends in meaningful ways past airline operators to include pilots. This has placed Australia’s aviation safety regulator out of step with many of its international counterparts.”

“No-one understands the impact of fatigue on pilots, its causes and its consequences as well as those who live with it every working day.”

“This decision by CASA relegates pilots to being a voice on the sidelines when they should be intimately involved in the fatigue risk decision process and policy development.”

AIPA’s Safety and Technical Director Captain Shane Loney said modernisation of fatigue management should involve scientific based rules for managing fatigue and should not just assume the current rule sets were an adequate place to start without a review of those rules.

Captain Loney said that there are anomalies and inconsistencies that have been driven over the years by commercial imperatives without enough scientific validation. There are also previously agreed fatigue management arrangements that have not been included in the new rule-set.

He said AIPA had written to CASA last month expressing concern with omissions in the Qantas FRMS manual and requesting the trial not be approved without changes and further consultation.

“Those concerns have quite clearly been ignored without explanation by CASA, and we call on the regulator to discuss our concerns ahead any further FRMS approvals” he said.

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