Protecting the Health and Safety of Pilots: A Critical Analysis of Flight and Duty Time Regulations in Canada

David-Cooper, René (2016) Protecting the Health and Safety of Pilots: A Critical Analysis of Flight and Duty Time Regulations in Canada. Annals of Air and Space Law, XLI. pp. 81-126.

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Civil aviation is the most regulated and likely the most competitive mode of transportation in the world. When commercial air transportation gained its economic momentum in the middle of the twentieth century, strong competition forced emerging airlines to find new ways to increase their profitability, such as optimising the utilisation of their pilots to reduce labour costs. As new technology allowed pilots to fly transcontinental flights for extended hours, government regulators in the 1960s quickly realised that pilot fatigue was a developing threat to the travelling public. By focusing on human factors in the context of flight safety, flight and duty time (FDT) regulations were adopted to limit the number of hours airline pilots spent flying and working on duty. This article will analyse the current FDT regulations in Canada. While many Members States of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have modernised their FDT regulations in the last few years, Canada’s regulatory approach to mitigate pilot fatigue is clearly outdated. This article will critically evaluate the existing and potential shortcomings of the pilot fatigue regulations currently in force in Canada. There is a genuine feeling in the industry that these regulations and current laws are inadequate or obsolete, as they do not reflect modern pilot fatigue science and place smaller carriers flying in unorthodox environments at risk.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 14071
Additional Information: Author was given permission from publishers to post the article from Annals of Air Space law in repository.
Department(s): Divisions > On the Move Partnership
Date: 2016
Date Type: Publication
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