An Update on Our Fight for 10
March 21, 2016 — On Wednesday, March 16, nearly 400 hundred Flight Attendants convened in Washington for an historic event to push for meaningful rest requirements to fight fatigue. Together, we made a powerful impact on Capitol Hill through our direct presence and the thousands of Flight Attendants who backed up our rally with calls to the Senate from across the country.
At the same time on Wednesday, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee marked up their FAA Reauthorization bill to include language promoted by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA).
The Senate language now includes a Fatigue Risk Management Plan (FRMP), but only increased rest to 10 hours, which can be reduced to 9. The House language would require irreducible 10-hours minimum rest between duty periods for Flight Attendants. “Rest” is defined as the period between release from duty and the subsequent report for duty. AFA continues to press forward to achieve 10 hours minimum rest equal to the pilot rest.
AFA worked closely with Senate offices to ensure the following amendments were introduced and approved during the Senate markup:
- FAA Fatigue Risk Management Plan, offered by Senator Blumenthal: Requires airlines to adopt a fatigue reporting policy; provide fatigue education and awareness training; create a fatigue incident reporting process; and develop a system for monitoring Flight Attendant fatigue with FAA oversight.
- Mechanical (non-chemical) Disinsection on Commercial Flights, offered by Senator Blumenthal: Urges development of non-chemical disinsection as a way to prevent spread of disease by insects.
- Human Trafficking Awareness Training, offered by Senators Klobuchar, Heller, Blumenthal and Warner: Requires airlines to provide human trafficking awareness training for Flight Attendants.
- Ban on Voice Communications in Flight, offered by Senator Markey: Specifically prohibits voice communications on planes.
- No Knives on Planes, offered by Senators Markey and Blumenthal: creates a permanent ban on knives on commercial planes.
- FAA Review of Evacuation Certification Standards, offered by Senators Blumenthal and Markey: Requires the FAA to review evacuation certification standards in recognition of the changing cabin environment such as aircraft seat configurations.
Now that both the House and Senate have marked up FAA reauthorization bills, each chamber will schedule votes in their respective chamber. If the House and the Senate pass different versions the bill, a Conference Committee will work out differences between the two versions of the bill. It is important that we keep the pressure on by continuing calls to your Senators and Representative.
Thank you again to everyone who came to the Capitol to Rally for Rest. We will stand together to get 10!
AFA Government Affairs Director