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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

US Dept of Transportation extends rest hours for flight attendants

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the US Department of Transportation (DOT) has published a final rule requiring US flight attendants to have longer periods of rest in between shifts.

The period is now extended from nine to ten straight hours under the new rule.

“Flight attendants, like all essential transportation workers, work hard every day to keep the traveling public safe, and we owe them our full support,” US Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.

“This new rule will make it easier for flight attendants to do their jobs, which in turn will keep all of us safe in the air,” Buttigieg added.

“Flight attendants perform critical safety roles. This rule puts them and safety first,” said acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen.

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 required the FAA to enhance the minimum rest period for flight attendants with the scheduled duty of 14 hours or less, and the new rule complies with that directive.

The FAA proposed a rule to lengthen the minimum amount of downtime for flight attendants performing domestic, flag and supplementary operations in October 2021.

“Flight attendants play a critical safety role in keeping passengers safe on every flight and especially in emergencies. This proposal helps reduce fatigue so they can perform this critical role,” then-FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said regarding the proposed regulation.

The proposed rest requirement was the subject of two public comment periods with a combined length of more than 105 days, according to the FAA. The FAA also looked through more than 1,000 comments from passengers, airlines, and flight attendants.

After being published in the US Federal Register, the new regulation will go into effect 30 days later, and compliance will be necessary 90 days thereafter.

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