Air Canada Pilots Disappointed and Frustrated at Government Delays in Updating Canada's Flight and Duty Time Regulations to Global Standards

Air Canada pilots today expressed their disappointment and frustration with the federal government for failing to take action to update Canada's flight crew fatigue management regulations.

The Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) was responding to Transport Canada's publication on Saturday of a Notice of Intent (NOI) to amend the Canadian Aviation Regulations on Flight and Duty Time (FDT) limitations. FDT regulations dictate how many hours pilots can be on the job prior to needing rest, and how much rest they are required to have prior to going back to work. Effective fatigue regulations are essential to aviation safety.

"It is no exaggeration to say that Canada's FDT regulations are vastly outdated, and continue to be among the worst in the world," stated Captain Ian Smith, President of ACPA. "This latest proposal issued by the Government does nothing to change that fact. All this Notice of Intent does is delay the process even further, forcing the Canadian aviation community to wait even longer in the hope that the government will enact these changes. It has been very frustrating to say the least."
Air Canada pilots and other industry stakeholders have been working cooperatively with the federal government for more than five years to help craft new rules based on the known science of fatigue. During that time, the Government collected a substantial amount of information and heard testimony from leading experts on the need for substantive changes to the regulations. Yet despite all of the evidence, substantive and effective regulatory changes are still years away from implementation, according to the Government's own NOI.

"It is essential that Canada upgrade its safety regulations in order to meet the global standards stipulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)," Captain Smith said. "We were hoping to have the new regulations in effect by 2015, but with the latest NOI, it looks like action is still years away."

As the 2015 federal election campaign unfolds, ACPA is calling on all major political parties to commit to implementing within one year effective new flight and duty time rules, as originally proposed in the government's own Notice of Proposed Amendment, published last September.

The Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) is the largest professional pilot group in Canada, representing the more than 3,000 pilots who fly millions of passengers across Canada and around the world on Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge.