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Fatigue Risk Management (FRM).

Reduce fatigue risk – increase productivity.

Prescriptive flight duty and rest time regulations had been the traditional strategy to manage shift work and time zone crossings for most airlines. This traditional approach has been increasingly questioned since it is based on a simplified concept of managing risk. Compliance to duty time limitations was assumed to provide safe operations. But often these regulations are not risk-assessed, not based on scientific evidence nor tailored to the specific demands of the individual operator.

ICAO, IATA and IFALPA, the three largest institutions in civil aviation worldwide, have recently proposed FRM as the future strategy to manage fatigue, based on a new global standard.

What is Fatigue Risk Management?

Crew member fatigue can be defined as: "A physiological state of reduced mental or physical performance capability resulting from sleep loss or extended wakefulness and/or physical activity that can impair a crew member’s alertness and ability to safely operate an aircraft or perform safety related duties."
(ICAO, FRMS Implementation Guide for Operators / FRMS Manual for Regulators, 1st edition, July 2011, page 1).
Fatigue is a major human factors hazard because it affects most aspects of a crew member’s ability to do their job. ICAO defines Fatigue Risk Management (FRM) as: "A data-driven means of continuously monitoring and managing fatigue-related safety risks, based upon scientific principles and knowledge that ensures relevant personnel are performing at adequate levels of alertness."
(ICAO, FRMS Implementation Guide for Operators / FRMS Manual for Regulators, 1st edition, July 2011, page 1).

Why should an airline implement an FRM?

Operators are increasingly made responsible for providing schedules that allows crew members to perform at adequate levels of alertness, with or without an FRM.

With increasing crew productivity requirements, whether due to staff shortages or for business demands, new strategies are needed. Increased productivity at reduced fatigue risk is a promising advantage of a data driven FRM.

In addition to that, upcoming regulations by EASA and the FAA include major elements of an ICAO FRM standard. The step from a compliance-based approach to a performance driven FRM is therefore a valuable option.

Which regulations are relevant for FRM?

ICAO/IATA/IFALPA: FRMS Implementation Guide for Operators / FRMS Manual for Regulators

FAA: CFR Finale Rule: 14 CFR Parts 117, 119 and 121; RIN 2120-AJ58

EASA: Comment Response Document (CRD) to NPA 2010-14, RMT.0322 (Former OPS.055)

What support is offered by AQS?

AQS offers an FRM Workshop and an FRM Training. The workshop familiarizes operators with Fatigue Risk Management. The 3-days FRM Training goes deeper into detail and supports airlines and authorities in assessing and implementing FRM into SMS.  

More information about AQS

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