Monday, September 14, 2015

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Flight Attendant Fatigue

No one tells our story better than we do.
 
Fighting for real legislation that will finally address Flight Attendant fatigue, remains a top priority for your APFA Government Affairs team. 
 
The studies are in. The science is conclusive. Fatigue impairs human response times. As Flight Attendants, we are charged with the safety and security of the aircraft cabin. Our roles and responsibilities are greater today than ever before. 
 
In a 2009 study the FAA wrote, “ Today’s aviation industry is a 24/7 operation that produces a variety of challenges for cabin crew members including extended duty periods, highly variable schedules, frequent time zone changes, and increased passenger loads. While these operational requirements may be necessary, they are far from ideal with respect to the human body’s biological rhythms for managing sleep and alertness. In fact, acute sleep loss, sustained periods of wakefulness, and circadian factors resulting from this form of misalignment all contribute to fatigue. “
 
The science is clear, yet Flight Attendants are still being ignored on this critical issue and our roles in safety and security minimized. We need to keep up the fight.
 
But we need your help! Please email Government Affairs and tell us “your story”. 
 
One Flight Attendant wrote, “I went to the employee parking lot after an all-nighter. Knowing I was exhausted with a two-hour drive, I closed my eyes for just a few moments. Six hours later, I awoke, sweating and the sun blazing in on me. It was 1:00 pm and my car was still running. It was horrible but could have been far worse had I to fallen asleep at the wheel on the highway.”
 
This month APFA Government Affairs will be meeting with Legislators from the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee so we can get legislation introduced that will finally address Flight Attendant fatigue. Being able to tell real life stories is incredibly powerful and makes our advocacy that much more effective.
 
Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers, AND Flight Attendants are the three work groups classified as “essential transportation workers” by the Department of Labor. Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers now have comprehensive fatigue policies and fatigue risk management programs in place.
  
It’s our time. It’s our turn.

In Unity, 

Julie Frederick
APFA Government Affairs
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