The FAA today released a Pilot Flight Time, Rest and Fatigue Fact Sheet. The Fact Sheet provides an overview of the existing regulations relating to duty and rest time, as well as a summary of the FAA’s recent activities relating to dealing with the issue of fatigue. The Fact Release also states that “[w]hile the current FAA rules are fundamentally sound and have contributed to an excellent safety record, fatigue remains a very real aviation safety issue. The FAA is interested in any new fatigue research that would assist the agency with enhancing its rules and that promotes industry best practices for fatigue risk management.”
I am not sure why the FAA released this Fact Sheet. It doesn’t provide any new information nor does it suggest that any new regulations or policies addressing fatigue are imminent. Apparently the FAA just wants everyone to know that it still considers fatigue an issue and that it is continuing to analyze the issue in order to ensure that fatigue does not compromise the safety of flight operations. In other words, status quo for now, but don’t rule out a notice of proposed rulemaking on the subject of fatigue in the future.