Shipping company condemns 'one size fits all' cargo pilot fatigue rules

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The lawmakers who filed the bill to apply the FAA's fatigue rules to cargo pilots said it was important to have one set of rules for the national aviation system.

"As a former cargo pilot, I understand the importance of a single standard of safety for pilots who share the same airspace and runways with passenger aircraft," Cravaack said in a news release announcing the filing of the bill.

"I introduced the Safe Skies Act in order to apply the new, common sense standard for pilot rest to cargo pilots as well," he continued.


But FedEx said it was already "the industry leader in fatigue mitigation because we have worked with our pilots and recognized experts to mitigate fatigue for many years.

"We will continue to incorporate the best scientific findings in the area of fatigue into our scheduling systems,” the company's statement said.

The doomed flight that led to the FAA intervention was Colgan Air Flight 3407, which was operated for Continental Airlines. Critics of the airline industry have suggested that fatigue had been a factor in the crash, and the families of victims of the crash have lobbied Congress ever since to tighten its regulation of the aviation industry.

The measure applying the fatigue rules to cargo pilots, H.R. 4350, would force pilots flying cargo airplanes to abide by the same scheduling rules the FAA has planned to go into effect in 2014 for commercial pilots.

-This post was updated April 24 at 12:29 p.m. to clarify that the FAA investigation revealed pilot error as the primary cause of the Buffalo accident. 

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