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‘Indicate’ timeline to implement new FDTL rules: DGCA to airlines | News


The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday asked Indian carriers to “indicate” a timeline to prepare and implement the new flight duty time limitation (FDTL) norms for pilots.

FDTL norms are crucial as they guarantee sufficient rest for pilots, minimising the risk of untoward incidents. The new FDTL norms, which were issued in January, provide pilots with increased rest time.

While the regulator initially set a 1 June deadline for airlines to implement the new rules, it reversed its decision last month after airlines expressed concerns that they would have to reduce approximately 15-20 per cent of flights to comply with the norms.

Meanwhile, on 1 April, the Delhi High Court asked the DGCA about its plans for implementing the new norms.

“In light of the observations made by the Honourable Court during the aforesaid hearing, you may kindly indicate the timeline required to prepare a roadmap for implementation of the revised FDTL norms and the timeline for subsequent implementation of the same,” the DGCA said in a letter to major Indian carriers on Wednesday.

The regulator said that the revised FDTL norms were “deferred” in March to enable the airlines to prepare their roadmap for the implementation of new rules.

In a bid to ensure better fatigue management, the DGCA on 8 January revamped the 2019 FDTL regulations. The latest rules include additional rest for pilots, revision of night duty regulations, and directions for airlines to submit pilot fatigue reports.

The new mandate has increased weekly rest periods for flight crew to 48 hours in a week from the previous 36 hours.

The definition of ‘night’ in the FDTL regulations has also been tweaked. Previously, night was defined as the time between midnight to 5 am. But now, night will cover the time between midnight to 6 am, giving flight crew an extra hour of rest during the early morning.

First Published: Apr 10 2024 | 9:06 PM IST


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