FAA Examines Cockpit Fatigue And Finds ...

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The FAA brought together 325 experts last week to spend three days discussing the problem of fatigue in aviation operations, and the agency says the symposium produced agreement on two major points -- fatigue is a problem, and something should be done about it. No, we're not kidding -- that's from the FAA news release. "The FAA hopes the participating individuals and organizations will use the information and concepts shared during the symposium as a springboard to develop effective fatigue management strategies," the agency says. We're not sure what those strategies might be (dogs in the cockpit?), but reading the FAA's news release is probably not one of them. So in the interest of battling fatigue, we'll summarize. "Many experts consider the key to addressing the problem [to be] scientifically based fatigue risk management systems," the FAA says. Those guiding scientific principles should be developed through "enhanced data collection." Just to keep us off-balance (and alert), the FAA turned up one useful suggestion -- it was noted that employees who excuse themselves from duty due to fatigue should not be penalized.

"The conferees recognized that incorporating fatigue risk-management systems into everyday operations is the ultimate goal, but doing so will take innovation in addressing a myriad of regulatory issues," the FAA concluded, and we hope you stayed awake till the end of that sentence.