Emirates Refutes Press Report
Sunday, 04 October 2009

Dubai - Emirates Airline issued a statement strongly refuting press reports published in an Australian publication this morning regarding the airline’s management of fatigue risk. "Emirates is surprised that objective data provided by it was not included, and one-sided articles were published based on statements from anonymous persons..

Emirates reiterates its absolute commitment to safety. Emirates is a world leader in the management of pilot fatigue and alertness. The Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) continuously monitors pilot alertness across a broad spectrum of international destinations, varying crew configurations and regulatory requirements. The system meets the regulatory requirements, and was the first to employ a Scientific Advisor on sleep research. Dr. Mark Rosekind, President of Alertness Solutions of the United States, is an ex-NASA scientist and researcher in fatigue mitigation, and his advice is a part of every FRMS study.

Emirates’ programmes are of value to the world’s body on international aviation standards, as the airline was requested to provide technical advice on Flight and Duty Time standards during an upcoming session of the newly established panel formed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Emirates’ Flight Time Limitation Scheme is based on international industry norms. Objective testing of alertness and fatigue using scientifically-accepted protocols was conducted on our ultra-long range flights. Testing of alertness during the critical minutes prior to landing and approach indicated no reduction of alertness.
Unlike other carriers, Emirates uses 2 Captains and 2 First Officers on its long-haul flights. Most other airlines have only 1 Captain and 2 First Officers.
Responsibility for preventing the onset of fatigue rests both on the operator and crew. The crew of EK 407 (Melbourne-Dubai, 20 March) were allocated a 24-hour layover in Melbourne - a sufficient time period to use the rest facilities provided.

When it released its preliminary report on the event, the Australian Transport & Safety Bureau indicated it had not found any evidence to suggest fatigue was a causal factor.

Emirates is operating under Federal Aviation Authority’s (FAA) Foreign Air Operators Certificate programme. This requires we meet stringent FAA regulatory requirements – including oversight by the body. The FAA notified us that they had found Emirates was in compliance with all FAA, General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and internal requirements relating to flight and duty time, and safety oversight.

Emirates has a positive and open reporting culture that helps management understand safety issues before they become significant concerns."

Source: Press Release (Emirates)