The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Thursday proposed a regulation to require that flight attendants have a longer rest period between shifts. The proposed rule would increase the rest period to 10 consecutive hours when scheduled for a duty period of 14 hours or less.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is proud to advance policies that protect and empower workers. This proposal will contribute to a safer, healthier workplace for flight attendants,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“Flight attendants play a critical safety role in keeping passengers safe on every flight and especially in emergencies. This proposal helps reduce fatigue so they can perform this critical role,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said.
Currently, flight attendants are required to have nine consecutive hours in their rest period. In 2018, under the FAA Reauthorization Act, Congress directed the FAA to increase the minimum rest period for flight attendants with scheduled duty of 14 hours or less in domestic, flag and supplemental flights. The Reauthorization Act also required the FAA to prohibit a reduction of the rest period under any circumstances. The FAA’s proposal meets those requirements.
In September 2019, the FAA invited the public to submit initial comments ahead of its proposed rule released today. The FAA also conducted outreach with air carriers to which the new requirements would apply.
The public has 60 days to comment on the draft rule once is published in the Federal Register. The FAA will publish a final rule after the comment period closes.