Flight Attendants' Association Receive Funds for Follow-Up Fatigue Study

The Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee has authorized $500,000 for a research study on the effects of flight attendant fatigue, based on a report by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The 2-year, follow-up study will be conducted by the FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), with the results to be submitted to Congress by Dec. 31, 2008.

Last June, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) flight attendants and supporters held a "sleep-in' outside FAA headquarters, calling on the agency to release its overdue report on flight attendant fatigue.

"Flight attendant fatigue is a chronic problem in the aviation industry and it continues to jeopardize our ability to fulfill important safety and security roles," said AFA-CWA President Patricia Friend. "We are pleased that steps are being taken to move forward, end flight attendant fatigue and finally enact meaningful regulations that will address this problem."

The results of the initial FAA report released on July 7 confirmed that flight attendants are frequently "experiencing issues consistent with fatigue and tiredness" and that "fatigue appears to be a salient issue warranting further evaluation."

The study also mentioned that regulations created by the FAA governing flight attendant duty and rest requirements are minimal standards. To truly address fatigue, the regulations must be combined with "sound and realistic operational practices," as well as personal strategies, the report stated.

The report recommends "opportunities for adequate rest for flight attendants need to be further evaluated."

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