The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a final rule requiring that flight attendants receive longer periods of rest between shifts. The new rule increases the rest period to 10 consecutive hours.
The FAA’s previous regulations required a nine-hour rest period for flight attendants in domestic, flag, and supplemental operations who are scheduled for a duty period of 14 hours or less, which could be reduced to eight hours in certain circumstances. The new rule stipulates 10 hours of consecutive rest, with no allowance for a reduction in rest time under any circumstances.
“Flight attendants, like all essential transportation workers, work hard every day to keep the travelling public safe, and we owe them our full support,” said US Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg. “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.”
The FAA held two public comment periods totalling more than 105 days on the proposed rest requirement in 2019 and 2021. The agency reviewed over 1,000 comments from flight attendants, airlines and the public before deciding upon the additional hour of rest. The final rule will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
“Flight attendants perform critical safety roles. This rule puts them and safety first,” added Acting FAA Administrator, Billy Nolen.