FAA Misses Pilot Rest Rule Deadline

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The FAA was supposed to publish a final rule addressing pilot rest requirements by Aug. 1, but so far the rule has not been released. The proposed rule was published last September. The FAA told Bloomberg News this week it is "working aggressively" to get the final rule done. ALPA President Lee Moak said the final rule is being delayed by the federal Office of Management and Budget, which is being pressured by companies "whose goal is advancing their own competitive interests rather than ensuring the safety of the U.S. air transportation system." NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman also told Bloomberg "it's frustrating" that the rule is being held up by "special interests who are putting profits ahead of safety."

Charter operators have protested that they should be exempt from the proposed rule, and airlines say it would be too costly. The Air Transport Association estimated the proposed rules would cost airlines nearly $20 billion over 10 years, although the FAA estimated their costs at $1.2 billion, which would be partially offset by $660 million in benefits. Cargo operator UPS objected that the proposed rule "effectively rewrites UPS' collective bargaining agreement with its pilots' union while hobbling the company's finely honed domestic and overseas logistics network." The target date for the final rule to be published now is late November, according to The Associated Press.