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FedEx pilots experiencing fatigue

Recently, we got some great discussions going on social media about FedEx’s FRMS, especially due to the increased pressure on FedEx Express pilots during the pandemic.

This came after reports that FedEx Express pilots have made more fatigue calls as the company “has been operating at or above peak levels” the past few months, according to its pilots union. Pilots have reported duty periods in which they were concerned about being fatigued and not fully alert during flights, and the union said it has also seen an increase in duty extensions.

When I spoke to ISS CEO Dr Adam Fletcher, he told me about some of the ways FedEx is investing in proactive fatigue management, “one of the particularly unique things about FedEx is that they’ve actually invested very heavily in air-side infrastructure for sleeping quarters inside airports that are only available for their own staff. This is so important given that their peak times are night, being parcel delivery.”

FedEx cited its FRMS program in a statement detailing how it would deal with these new fatigue pressures. “This program also allows crew members to call in fatigued or excessively tired without penalty,” FedEx said in its statement. “This multi-faceted approach, coupled with a science-based scheduling model and interactive process with ALPA [The Air Line Pilots Association], helps ensure the continued safety and reliability of our operations.”

One of the positive aspects of this story is that pilots felt safe and empowered enough to alert management to their concerns, and this can be partially attributed to the fostering of a positive and proactive culture around fatigue like FedEx has done.

You can read more about it here.

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