world of aviation logo

Australian cabin crew launch ‘Fatigue Doesn’t Fly’ campaign, calling for mandatory rest regulations

written by Newsdesk | May 31, 2024

Australian cabin crew launch 'Fatigue Doesn't Fly' campaign, calling for mandatory rest regulations

On International Cabin Crew Day, the Flight Attendants’ Association of Australia (FAAA) has launched the “Fatigue Doesn’t Fly” campaign, urging the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to introduce mandatory flight time and rest regulations for cabin crew.

More than a decade after the initial consultation process and five years after the introduction of regulations for pilots, cabin crew are asking for equal treatment. FAAA Federal Secretary Teri O’Toole is calling on CASA to give cabin crew a fair go, stating that they only want what cabin crew all over the world have, including those in developing countries.

“Aligning with international standards will not only enhance safety but also ensure fair and consistent working conditions across the industry,” O’Toole said. “Our aviation safety authority should have oversight and protections for all stakeholders in aviation, not just pilots. Relying on safe standards for fatigue risk should not be left to bargaining in Enterprise Bargaining Agreements.”

Cabin crew members are multi-skilled professionals trained in safety, fire, evacuation, and medical emergencies, serving as the first responders in the air. Captain Tony Lucas, President of the Australian and International Pilots Association, noted that having well-trained and well-rested cabin crew is a vital part of the safety management process when dealing with emergencies.

Fatigue is a well-documented risk factor in aviation safety, impairing judgement, reaction times, and overall performance. Research highlights the severe health impacts of chronic fatigue, including cardiovascular issues, mental health problems, and weakened immune systems.

Kris Major, European Transport Workers Federation Aircrew regulation specialist and EASA FTL trainer, said, “People naturally assume fatigue must already be protected within a modern and contemporary nation but it isn’t. Working conditions that are based on the limits of human endurance without factoring outside activity require very careful management.”


O’Toole compared the dangers of flight fatigue to asbestos as a workplace risk, stating, “Fatigue is the asbestos of aviation; invisible but deadly. We must act now to protect our cabin crew and, by extension, our passengers.”

Most Commonwealth countries have already implemented flight time limitations for cabin crew, with Australia remaining an outlier. International Transport Workers’ Federation Civil Aviation and Tourism Services Section Secretary Gabriel Mocho Rodriguez expressed support for the FAAA campaign, stating that it is disturbing that Australia lags behind even many developing countries in implementing such measures.

On International Cabin Crew Day, the Fatigue Doesn’t Fly campaign is calling on supporters to recognise the indispensable contributions of cabin crew and advocate for their safety and well-being. Everyone, from flight attendants to passengers, is invited to sign the petition at https://fatiguedoesntfly.com.au.


Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year