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Fatigue Risk Management Systems

A Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) is a data-driven means of continuously monitoring and managing fatigue-related safety risks, based on scientific principles and knowledge as well as operational experience, which aim to ensure relevant personnel are performing at adequate levels of alertness.

Performance-based regulatory approach

FRMS is an enhancement to prescriptive flight and duty time limitations (FTLs). It allows an operator to adapt policies, procedures and practices to the specific conditions that create fatigue in a particular aviation setting. Operators may tailor their FRMS to unique operational demands and focus on fatigue mitigation strategies that are within their specific operational environment.

As in Safety Management Systems (SMS), the FRMS relies on the concept of an “effective reporting culture” and active involvement of all stakeholders where personnel have been trained and are constantly encouraged to report hazards whenever observed in the operational environment. Unlike prescriptive FTL, an FRMS needs to emphasize the shared responsibility between management and individual crewmembers within an operation, to manage fatigue risks.

Implementing FRMS

Just as SMS, FRMS is a management process built on organizational policies and procedures that implement a systematic approach to fatigue management. This ensures that FRMS is an integrated network of people and resources performing activities designed to minimize fatigue in the operational environment.

There is no “off-the-shelf” version of an FRMS, each operator will need to develop an FRMS appropriate to its organizational and operational specificity and the nature and level of the fatigue risk(s).

Implementation guide for operators

The Fatigue Managment Guide for Airline Operations marks the collaboration between IATA, ICAO and the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) to jointly lead and serve industry in the ongoing development of fatigue management, using the most current science. It presents the common approach of pilots, regulators and operators to the complex issue of fatigue.

For more information, please contact FRMS@iata.org

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