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NBAA Releases New Crew Rest Guidelines

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NBAA has updated its guidelines for crew rest in business aviation and the new suggested limits reflect recent advances in scientific knowledge about how human beings react to and recover from fatigue. “We developed these guidelines after significant scientific review, extensive analysis of industry practices and industry feedback,” said Leigh White, president of Alertness Solutions and lead of NBAA’s Fatigue Task Force. “Our goal was to present the latest data and guidance – both rooted in science – to company and flight department management to help educate them about how to best use their crews.” The result is a 16-page report that takes into consideration the effects of working at all hours.

The recommendations boil down to a chart that say the crew duty day shouldn't exceed 14 hours and there should be no more than 10 hours of flying on what is considered a "standard" day. A standard day is one in which the duty period occurs in a section of the day that does not encroach in what is known as the "window of circadian low" where humans are supposed to be asleep, in general from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. If the duty day steers clear of that period, NBAA says it's ok to push the flight time to 12 hours but the pilots will need extra rest to compensate. For flights that include or even go through the wee hours, the duty day should be no longer than 12 hours and flight time should be no more than 10 hours and NBAA doesn't recommend pushing those limits.

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