New FAA Rule Requires Crew Resource Management Training for Charter Airlines

Air carriers affected by the final rule must establish initial and recurrent CRM training for crewmembers within two years of the effective date of the rule.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has finalized a rule that requires non-scheduled charter airlines and air taxis to train pilots and flight attendants in Crew Resource Management (CRM), a well-established concept that helps reduce human error in commercial aviation by teaching pilots, flight attendants, and other aviation workers to act as a team.

Air carriers affected by the final rule must establish initial and recurrent CRM training for crewmembers within two years of the effective date of the rule. The training must address the captain’s authority, intra-crew communications, teamwork, managing workload, time, fatigue and stress, and decision-making skills.

“This type of training is critical for the safety of flight crews and passengers,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

FAA has required CRM training for air carriers operating larger airplanes since December 1995.

“I know the value of making Crew Resource Management part of the safety culture from my days as an airline pilot,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “A crew that works as a team is a better crew, regardless of the size of the plane or the size of the airline.”

CRM training focuses on the interactions among personnel including pilots, flight attendants, operations personnel, mechanics, air traffic controllers, and flight service stations. This training in communications and teamwork can help prevent errors such as runway incursions, misinterpreting information from air traffic controllers, crewmembers' loss of situational awareness, and failure to fully prepare for takeoff or landing.

This final rule responds to a 2003 National Transportation Safety Board recommendation that is currently on the Board’s “Most Wanted” list of safety improvements.

View the final rule at: http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2011-01211_PI.pdf.

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