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AFA-CWA Raises Awareness of Flight Attendant Fatigue

Date: June 5, 2007

National Transportation Safety Board's Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements Hearing

 House Transportation and Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Time: 10:00 am

Rayburn House Office Building Room 2167

Washington, DC - Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) International President Patricia Friend will testify in front of Congress on Wednesday, June 6, regarding the need for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to include flight attendant fatigue concerns in their "most wanted" recommendation regarding reducing accidents and incidents caused by human fatigue.

"We believe that the NTSB 'most wanted' recommendation setting working hours for flight crews and aviation mechanics based on fatigue research, circadian rhythms, and sleep and rest requirements is flawed in that it does not include the need to address flight attendant fatigue in the recommendation," said Friend.

Fatigue is a very real and serious concern for the flight attendant workforce and poses a potentially dangerous risk for the safety of the aviation system.  Multiple studies have shown that reaction time and performance diminish with fatigue and can ultimately cause an unacceptable situation for safety and security sensitive employees.  In fact, last year the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) issued a report that concluded that flight attendants are "experiencing fatigue and tiredness and as such, is a salient issue warranting further evaluation."

"The NTSB must further investigate and recommend changes to address the safety concern of flight attendant fatigue before a serious incident happens," added Friend. "It is crucial that we be just as concerned with flight attendant fatigue as pilot and mechanic fatigue if we hope to achieve the NTSB's stated goal of preventing accidents and saving lives."

For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill. More than 55,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines come together to form AFA-CWA, the world's largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org

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