DGCA frames rules for flight duty timings of air hostesses

PTI Posted online: Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : Aviation regulator DGCA has come out with separate rules governing flight duty time limitations for air hostesses and stewards of all airlines and non-scheduled operators.

The rules, which would be binding on all air operators and cabin crew, specify the flight timings, the flight duty and rest periods for the cabin crew of both domestic and international flights, official sources said.

The new Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) is based on the International Civil Aviation Organisation requirements under which signatory nations have to frame regulations specifying flight time limits, flight duty period and rest periods for the cabin crew.

The rules would be applicable to all airlines, private charters, business aviators and other non-scheduled operators.

The working patterns of the cabin crew are different than those of the cockpit crew. The cabin crew work longer hours and are trained for and required to assist in cases of an aircraft emergency, the sources said.

Besides emergency evacuation from an aircraft, they are the "in-flight first responders" who are trained to handle smoke and fire incidents and attend to medical emergencies like a heart attack on board a flight.

The new CAR makes it mandatory for the operator to ensure that a cabin crew member would not operate an aeroplane "if it is known or suspected" that he or she was fatigued.

The airline or non-scheduled operator would also not schedule any cabin crew member for an assignment exceeding the prescribed flight duty time limitations and ensure that they are trained and educated regarding dangers of fatigue and sleepiness.

While the minimum duty timings would be 12 consecutive hours on six domestic sectors (or six pairs of take-offs and landings), the same for an international flight would be 11 hours and not more than four sectors, as per the latest CAR.

Similarly, the rules also detail the rest period after an 11 or 12-hour duty in domestic or international sectors, including those to the neighbouring countries.