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FAA Extends Rest Periods For Flight Attendants

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The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration or FAA issued a final rule increasing the rest period for flight attendants to 10 consecutive hours. The previous rest period between shifts was for nine consecutive hours.

The final rule will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Issuing the rule requiring that flight attendants receive longer periods of rest between shifts, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, "Flight attendants, like all essential transportation workers, work hard every day to keep the traveling public safe, and we owe them our full support. 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 Biden-Harris Administration's rule upgrade also fulfills the requirements of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. The act directed the agency to increase the minimum rest period for flight attendants with scheduled duty of 14 hours or less and eliminate the provision that permitted rest to be reduced in certain circumstances.

Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen added that flight attendants perform critical safety roles, and the new rule puts them and safety first.

The FAA noted that it held two public comment periods totaling more than 105 days on the proposed rest requirement in 2019 and 2021, and reviewed over 1,000 comments from flight attendants, airlines and the public before taking the decision.

Flight crew unions including Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents nearly 50,000 flight attendants at 19 airlines, have been demanding additional rest time noting that flight attendants are tired and overworked after working shifts as long as 14 hours.

In a tweet, AFA-CWA said, "Finally. The FAA today finalized a rule requiring 10 hours minimum, non-reducible rest for Flight Attendants between duty days - finally implementing a 2018 law that will make aviation safer for over 100K Flight Attendants & passengers in our care."

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