What's in the petition

Everybody knows what fatigue feels like, and often feel it after a normal 8-hour workday, let alone after a night shift. Typical symptoms include fluttering eyes, loss of alertness, slower reaction time and sleepiness. Like all human beings, Canadian pilots experience those same symptoms – and there is no way to “train” your body to be more alert once it is fatigued. We’re seeking regulations that recognize the inescapable limits of human physiology. These limits are well researched, as are the risks of ignoring them.

Afford pilots and passengers of all sizes of aircraft – whether they carry passengers or cargo – the same protective fatigue limits, coming into force at the same time

This petition is supported by 8,000 pilots from passenger and cargo airlines alike. We all believe that the contents or the size of the aircraft have no bearing on a pilot’s fatigue levels. All pilots require the same safety standards.

Address pilot fatigue on long-haul flights at night by limiting duty periods that begin after 5:00 p.m. to 10 hours (or 8.5 hours of flight time) – in line with NASA research findings

This is based on NASA research going back at least two decades, which establishes that pilot fatigue is a greater risk in the evening and at night. Many other countries like the United States already have updated rules in place, but Canada’s regulations are 20 years out of date – and new draft regulations don’t go far enough.

Ensure that any Fatigue Risk Management Systems rely on science-based prescriptive limits as a foundation, requiring independently verifiable data and stringent oversight

Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS) use data collected from pilots to continuously monitor and manage fatigue-related safety risks, based upon scientific principles and operational experience, to ensure pilots are performing at adequate levels of alertness.

Used properly, Fatigue Risk Management Systems can empower employers and pilots to take responsibility for identifying and preventing fatigue risks. For employers, that means creating work schedules that give employees adequate rest. Pilots must use those rest opportunities to ensure they are fit for work. And they share responsibility to ensure that concerns over fatigue risks override other issues.

When informed by rigorous data and responsible oversight, specific flights may be exempted from the regulations on a case-by-case basis, where it can be proven to be safe and with independent auditing.

However, without proper oversight, Fatigue Risk Management Systems can also become a means for employers to skirt regulated limits, and to pressure pilots into flying longer hours.

If Fatigue Risk Management Systems are to be used, they should be based on scientific data, clear policies and careful oversight.