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Fatigue is a feeling of weariness, tiredness, or lack of energy. It is a condition characterized by increased discomfort with lessened capacity for work, reduced efficiency of accomplishment, loss of power or capacity to respond to stimulation. Fatigue must be managed by aviation departments to limit its effect on pilots, flight attendants, and maintenance personnel, among others.

The guidelines are offered as a resource and are practical suggestions of ways an operator can improve the safety and efficiency of its operations. Each operator will have to evaluate these available tools against the circumstances of its own organization and flight needs. Operators also will want to consider using other new processes and technologies as they develop in the future.

Duty/Rest Guidelines for Business Aviation

Duty/Rest Guidelines for Business Aviation

NBAA and Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) developed the publication "Duty/Rest Guidelines for Business Aviation" to provide science-based guidelines for duty and rest scheduling. This publication, developed by the NBAA Safety Committee's Fatigue Task Force and a host of industry experts, is intended to offer a set of tools for flight departments that are easy to understand and implement.

These guidelines are not intended as an exclusive “one-size-fits-all” solution to the issue of pilot fatigue. Other methods of fatigue mitigation, including data-driven/science-based systems being developed today and already used by some operators, can sometimes offer enhanced capabilities. Operators will need to evaluate the available tools against the circumstances of their own organizations and flight needs.

Download Duty/Rest Guidelines for Business Aviation (848 KB, PDF)

The Alert Crew: Fatigue Awareness in Flight Operations

The Alert Crew This guidebook is intended to help the corporate pilot manage fatigue under the constraints of a constantly changing work schedule. Fatigue is affected by length of flight and duty time, light exposure, and stresses outside of work. It can reduce a pilot's capacity for work, reduce efficiency of accomplishment, and is usually accompanied by feelings of weariness and tiredness. Fatigue is dangerous because it prevents pilots from reliably detecting their personal degree of impairment.

This compilation of recommendations from the scientists at Alertness Solutions provides guidance on sleep basics, the physiological effects of fatigue, and practical countermeasures that are proven to increase safety during flight operations. The most effective flight departments will combine the information provided in this guidebook with science based training to produce a Fatigue Management Program that will ensure crew fatigue does not affect the safety of flight.

Download The Alert Crew: Fatigue Awareness in Flight Operations Guidebook (907 KB, PDF)

Fitness for Duty Policy Template

Fitness for duty, one of NBAA's Foundations for Safety, is integral to any aviation team's success. NBAA's Safety Committee has drafted this template that companies can use to develop their internal fitness for duty policy.

Download Fitness for Duty Policy Template (194 KB, PDF)

Fatigue Awareness Posters

These posters can be printed and hung around the hangar or the office to promote good fatigue management to pilots, mechanics, and everyone at the airport.

  • Importance of Sleep

    Importance of Sleep

    Explain the benefits of sleep and the consequences of not getting enough.

  • Lifestyle and Family

    Lifestyle and Family

    Teach pilots and employees about managing activities and lifestyle to maximize rest.

  • Light Exposure

    Light Exposure

    Learn about the effects of light and darkness on the body's internal clock.

  • Sleep Disorders

    Sleep Disorders

    Inform the airport community of sleeping disorders that affect 1 in 3 adults.

Fatigue News

Flight Technician Roundtable Will Address Fatigue Mitigation Best Practices
May 10, 2017
To address the challenges of the evolving responsibilities of flight attendants, flight technicians and flight engineers, NBAA recently developed a fatigue management survey that was sent to association members in these job categories. The results of the survey, which are still being tabulated, will be discussed at the Fight Technician Roundtable, set for June 13 in Long Beach, CA. Learn more.
NBAA, University of North Dakota Launch Business Aviation Fatigue Study
March 24, 2017
NBAA is coordinating with the University of North Dakota to conduct a survey on fatigue and crew duty issues in business aviation. The study will not only look at aviators, but also maintenance personnel, cabin crew, schedulers and dispatchers and others in business aviation who work in safety-sensitive functions. The survey is now open to NBAA members, and will conclude April 21. Learn more about the study.
Have Questions About Flight Time, Duty, Rest Regs? FAA Now Has Answers, Online
Feb. 24, 2017
Some NBAA members operating under FAR Part 135 have found the regulations surrounding rest and duty to be a point of contention, but operators seeking the FAA's formal responses to questions about these regulations can now find them online. The information is available under a searchable link in the Publications section of the online Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS). "This is a welcome addition to the FSIMS," said Brian Koester, NBAA manager of operations. "Not only will it help inform members about the rules and their interpretation of them, it will clarify their impact on members who may not be fully aware of their how the requirements affect their operation." Learn more.
Fitness for Duty: Fatigue-Management Can Mitigate Risks
Oct. 5, 2015
Business aviation is a round-the-clock industry that often requires physically demanding schedules. And while it may be difficult for pilots to report they are not physically or psychologically fit for duty, flying under such conditions can have severe consequences. Something as simple as a fatigue-management program can make all the difference. “Ensuring pilots are fit to fly requires proactive management to look at pilot schedules, including retroactive schedules and prospective schedules,” said Quay Snyder, president and CEO of Aviation Medicine Advisory Service. Read more about fatigue management in the September/October 2015 issue of Business Aviation Insider.
'Fit for Duty' Isn't Just for Pilots
Feb. 6, 2014
In aviation, "fitness for duty" usually refers to pilots, and whether they're in condition to fly. However, the term applies to more than just flight crewmembers, said Debbi Laux, director of trade relations for MedAire, at NBAA's Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2015). "It's also maintenance workers, schedulers and dispatchers and anyone who touches that flight in any way," said Laux, who also a member of the NBAA Safety Committee. In the Feb. 5 session at SDC2015, Laux discussed how schedulers and dispatchers deal with their own fitness-for-duty challenges. Read more about being fit for duty.
Recorded Webinar Available to NBAA Members Interested in Fatigue Risk Management
October 30, 2013
NBAA's Jeppesen-sponsored webinar, "Fatigue Risk Management Simplified," proved a popular topic, and is now available, free of charge, on NBAA's On-Demand Education website. "The depth and technical nature of the questions revealed just how serious business aircraft operators have become about fatigue risk management," said Jo Damato, NBAA's director of educational development and strategy. "The most effective flight departments will consider this webinar as an additional resource to produce a fatigue management program that will ensure crew fatigue does not affect the safety of flight." Read more about fatigue risk management.
Flying Internationally? NBAA Webinar Will Explore Fatigue Risks, Solutions
September 23, 2013
One of the challenges of long-distance, international flying is dealing with the physiological effects of flying for extended periods of time and crossing multiple time zones. An increasingly important tool to help ensure the safety of intercontinental flights is fatigue risk management systems (FRMS). NBAA will present a free webinar to explain how such systems have become both appropriate and affordable for business aviation. "Fatigue Risk Management Simplified" will be held Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. EDT, hosted by Tomas Klemets, head of scheduling safety at Jeppesen, which currently provides crew management solutions. Flying Learn more about the effects of fatigue on flying.
NBAA Opposes FAA's Opinion On 'Controlled Crew Rest' for Part 91 Operators
February 6, 2012
NBAA is alerting Members to a recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) opinion on Part 91 crew rest procedures that is in "stark disagreement" with international guidelines, and scientific findings. The Association notes that the FAA's ruling runs contrary to a large body of scientific research on effective fatigue mitigation, that has determined a "controlled cockpit rest" period can raise crew alertness when normal rest periods are compromised. "We would like the opportunity to discuss this issue with you and your staff as soon as reasonably possible to identify a path forward, balancing the regulation, as written and interpreted, with aviation safety," NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said in a January 30 letter to the FAA. Learn more.