MPs to inquire into flight time limitations

18 January 2012

Flight and duty time limitations are used to help ensure that commercial aircraft operate safely by regulating the hours worked by air crew in order to prevent pilot fatigue.

In January 2012 the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published an updated draft of new rules to harmonise European flight time limitations. These proposals would change the way flight time limitations are regulated in the UK. The Committee will look at the potential effects of this change.

The issues which the Committee will examine are set out below:

  • EASA’s proposals and how these compare to the UK’s current regulations.
  • The potential effects of the proposals on pilot fatigue and aviation safety.
  • The use of scientific and medical evidence in developing the regulations.
  • How the new regulatory regime compares to that in other countries.

The Committee would also like to hear about other issues relating to flight time limitations and the work of EASA.

We would be grateful to receive written submissions on the above by Monday 6 February.

Notes on the submission of written evidence
It assists the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Written submissions should be as short as is consistent with conveying the relevant information. As a rough guide, it is helpful if they can be confined to six pages or less. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference. A summary of the main points at the start of the submission is also helpful.
  2. Evidence should be submitted by e-mail to in Word or Rich Text format, with as little use of colour and images as possible. If you wish to submit written evidence to the Committee in another format you must contact a member of staff to discuss this. The body of the e-mail should include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. It should be absolutely clear who the submission is from, particularly whether it is on behalf of an organisation or in the name of an individual.
  3. Once accepted by the Committee, written evidence becomes the Committee’s property and it may decide to publish it or make other public use of it. If the Committee decides to accept your contribution as evidence we will email you formally accepting it as such. You may publicise or publish your submission yourself, once you receive the formal acceptance of your evidence to the Committee. When doing so, please indicate that it has been submitted to the Committee.
  4. The Committee will publish the majority of written evidence that is received, but some submissions will be placed in the Parliamentary Archives for public inspection rather than being printed or published online. If you do not wish your submission to be made public, you must clearly say so, and should contact a member of staff to discuss this. Though the Committee is happy to receive copies of published material or correspondence sent to other parties, formal submissions of evidence should be original work produced for the Committee and not published elsewhere.
  5. Committee staff are happy to give more detailed guidance on giving evidence to a select committee, or further advice on any aspect of the Committee’s work, by phone or e-mail.

Additional information on submitting evidence to a Select Committee is available online in the House of Commons Guide to Witnesses.

Image: PA

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