EASA’s Flight Time Limitation (FTL) guidelines on the use of Article 71.1 of the Basic Regulation were triggered by the urgent need for a coordinated reaction to ensure that certain flights during the COVID-19 pandemic continue in a safe manner. The guidelines were subsequently updated based on feedback received, to take account of the needs of operators during the return to normal operations.
These guidelines should not be seen as a new regulation changing established standards. EASA’s FTL guidelines are a temporary tool, limited by the framework of Regulation (EU) 965/2012 and aimed to address urgent (one-off or short-term) needs of operators who engage in commercial repatriation and medical delivery flights.
They are aimed at allowing a timely compliance through an assessment of the main safety (fatigue) risks and deployment of adequate mitigation measure. They are therefore simple, fit for purpose and ready to be used, while still respecting appropriate fatigue management and scientific principles.
EASA is monitoring all exemptions for their correct application and liaises with the national competent authorities where needed.