FAA lumps Part 121 and Part 135 together in fatigue proposal; NATA criticizes move

The National Air Transportation Association recently spoke out against language in a proposed FAA rule to widen fatigue requirements for commercial pilots, saying the federal agency should not lump together Part 135 and Part 121 operations. The FAA has said changes in rest rules for Part 121 airlines would also apply to Part 135 operations. 

NATA President James K. Coyne issued a statement criticizing the move on the organization’s web site yesterday.

“I wish I could only say that I was shocked at the FAA’s statement that Part 121 and 135 operations are ‘very similar,’” he said. “But anyone who has any inkling of the vast array of operations that take place, and geographic settings common within the Part 135 community, would know better than to make this ridiculous comparison. The fact that the statement came from our aviation regulatory authority, makes me wonder just how familiar the FAA is with the makeup of the Part 135 community and question the agency’s commitment to honoring the letter and spirit of rulemaking guidance that requires the FAA to consider the specific costs, benefits and regulatory alternatives that may be appropriate for different types of operators.”

In a story by Aviation Iinternational News’s Matt Thurber, he quotes an unnamed FAA representative saying the agency sees Part 135 and Part 121 operations “very similar.”

After the jump: Find links to additional coverage of the rules proposal. [more]

Read more about NATA's take on the proposal and the inclusion of possible Part 135 rule changes here.

Also, see what the Wall Street Journal has to say about pilot fatigue and the FAA proposal here and here. We link the AP recap here.