Date of Application

As of 18 February 2016, all EU and EFTA Commercial Air Transport operators must comply with the new Flight Time Limitations (FTL) rules concerning crew members. 

Commission Regulation (EU) No 83/2014 regarding flight and duty time limitations and rest requirements, was introduced as an amendment to Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 related to air operations, and was published on 29 January 2014.  Due to the upcoming expiry of the two year transition period the new Regulation will begin to apply from 18 February 2016.

In order to supplement the binding new FTL requirements, supporting EASA documentation such as Certification Specifications (CS), Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM) have also been published.

However, by way of derogation, Member States concerned may choose not to apply the provisions of the new regulation and continue utilising existing national provisions concerning in-flight rest requirements until 17 February 2017.

Scope

The new rules are applicable to Commercial Air Transport with aeroplanes for scheduled and charter operations, excluding emergency medical service (EMS), air taxi, single pilot and helicopter CAT operations, which shall be subject to Subpart Q of EU Regulation No 3922/91 (EU-OPS) or to related national requirements. However, there are future EU plans related to the implementation of similar measures for them.

Transition Period

Operators had two years to transition from existing requirements to the new EU requirements. Both, the EASA and national aviation authorities run a series of seminars created to inform operators of the requirements for transition.

Distinctive Features

A new Subpart FTL of Part-ORO contains flight and duty time limitations and rest requirements which are to be met by an operator and its crew members.

Among other requirements, the new regulations in some cases place additional responsibilities on air operators for the management of crew fatigue. In particular, operators must manage fatigue within their Safety Management System (SMS), and clearly demonstrate that they are doing so.

Operators are also obliged to establish, implement and maintain flight time specification schemes that are appropriate for the type of operation performed.

Moreover, flight time specification schemes (including any related fatigue risk management (FRM) where required), shall be approved by the competent authority.

Review of Effectiveness

EASA will conduct a continuous review of the effectiveness of the new provisions and present the report no later than 18 February 2019.