Fatigue added to flight safety concerns

Nov. 9, 2007 at 8:48 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board added fatigue to its list of imperative transportation safety concerns.

The NTSB added fatigue to its list of "most wanted" improvements regarding regulations for pilots and flight mechanics, USA Today reported Friday.

"Our aviation system requires that everyone be vigilant, that everyone be alert," Deborah Hersman, a member of the NTSB, said to the newspaper.

"With respect to controllers, we know that fatigue is the enemy of good judgment and what we need most from our controllers is good judgment. We need them to be well rested."

Mark Rosnker, the NTSB chairman, said fatigue would have "catastrophic result" if the Federal Aviation Administration doesn't act quickly to resolve the issue.

FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown told USA Today the agency planned to alter work schedules to prevent fatigue and noted the current system is "incredibly safe."

The NTSB started calling for stricter limits on flight hours two decades ago.

The board cited fatigue as a contributing factor in 10 commercial aircraft accidents since 1993.

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