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.
Researchers have identified the challenges in adapting human rest needs to the aviation environment, but regulators worldwide have struggled to turn that science into good rulemaking. Amid the heightened attention to crew fatigue, which followed the Colgan Flight 3407 accident in 2009, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) approved new crew rest standards and published FRMS guidance for operators in 2011, followed by a manual for regulators in 2012.
Klemets noted that both documents are 150 pages long, adding, “Most people, in our experience, are coming out of reading those with more questions than they started with.”
Regarding the upcoming webinar, Klemets said he plans to take participants through a one-page document on the subject. “Admittedly, it’s a dense one-page version, but it will make it easier to comprehend what FRMS really is and what the necessary components are.”
Klemets also plans to show how modern tools are making elements of FRMS cost-effective for business aviation, including single-pilot operators and even individuals assessing their personal fitness for duty. Jeppesen’s CrewAlert Pro application for Apple devices utilizes mathematical modeling of fatigue factors and provides mitigation strategies based on individual user settings, including sleep requirements and commute times.
A free version of the app is available without the automatic mitigation suggestions, and Klemets said FRMS apps for other device operating systems, and provided by other vendors, could soon be available.
Klemets believes business operators need to be proactive in solving crew rest challenges before regulators jump in.
“Regulations are a very rough-cut solution for managing fatigue,” he said. “While most of the attention so far has been focused on the airlines, there are FRMS considerations which could be of value to business aviation as well.”