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More time for fatigue rule transition

Air operators are being given an extra year to make the transition to the new fatigue rules.

This follows consultation with the aviation community that found both CASA and air operators needed more time to make a smooth and safe transition to Civil Aviation Order 48.1.

The transition period now extends to 1 May 2017 - four years after the new rules were made.  Air operators can move across to the new rules at any time during the transition period.

All operators that have not completed the transition by 31 October 2016 will need to submit amended operations manuals or a fatigue risk management application to CASA by that date.

To support the requirement to move to the modernised fatigue system CASA has released a new video and a report on the science behind fatigue management.

The seven minute video featuring a number of fatigue experts sets out some of the reasons for changing the rules, highlighting the importance of effective fatigue management in aviation and providing real examples of the consequences of fatigue.

The video has been released along with a 16 page review which sets out the scientific support for Civil Aviation Order 48.1.

The review covers International Civil Aviation Organization fatigue requirements, accident and incident data, research supporting the changes, comparison with aviation regulations elsewhere in the world and prescriptive rules versus a fatigue risk management system.

CASA examined more than 200 fatigue studies, research papers and reports in developing the new rules.

The latest peer reviewed scientific studies of fatigue were assessed, with the provisions of Civil Aviation Order 48.1 specifically developed to address key fatigue hazards.

In the video it is explained that the old fatigue rules have their origin back in the 1950s and reflect what was known about sleep and fatigue at that time.

New rules were needed to take into account the nature of aviation operations in the modern world.

Dr Matthew Thomas, Associate Professor Human Factors and Safety at CQ University says in the video flight crew who have less than five hours sleep in the prior 24 hours are twice as likely to make errors.

Steve Nota, aviation adviser to Woodside Energy, recounts an early morning helicopter flight where both he and his co-pilot fell asleep for a brief period.

“Fortunately, it had just been a matter of seconds or minutes, but again, that scared us all,” Mr Nota says.

View the fatigue video on CASA’s YouTube channel.

Read the report on the case for the change of the fatigue rules.

Media contact:
Peter Gibson
Mobile: 0419 296 446
Email:peter.gibson@casa.gov.au
Ref: MR13515