Fatigue Risk Management

The CAA is evaluating the way fatigue is managed in aviation and considering whether improvements are needed to ensure the regulatory framework is fit for purpose across different sectors.
Fatigue is a complex issue that does not have simple solutions, and a multi-pronged approach is likely to be the most effective. We are considering these main issues:

  • Prescriptive duty times
  • Performance-based standards, including options for an FRMS
  • Non-legislative interventions around education, monitoring, and reporting of fatigue.

Throughout this review there will be a number of opportunities for you to have your say, and help us work out what decisions will be best for everybody in the New Zealand aviation system.

Summary of Public Submissions

From November 2016 to February 2017, the CAA  asked industry for their thoughts on Fatigue management through our discussion document (PDF 517 KB). We received 656 individual submissions.

The  Summary of Public Submissions (PDF 2.5 MB) is now available.

Policy development work will continue as will work currently underway to develop education and guidance material. Further information about the status of the project will be added to this page as the project develops.

Fatigue Risk Managment Flyer
(PDF 549 KB)

Thank you for taking the time to let us know your views on managing fatigue-related risks in aviation.

Fatigue is recognised as a major human factors hazard because it affects people’s ability to do their job safely. ICAO defines fatigue as:

A physiological state of reduced mental or physical performance capability resulting from sleep loss, extended wakefulness, circadian phase, and/or workload (mental and/or physical activity) that can impair a person’s alertness and ability to perform safety-related operational duties.

The CAA and the aviation community are running two programmes:

  • The Fatigue Risk Management Panel facilitates the development of the aviation community expert views on fatigue management, and provides advice and information to the CAA on those issues. It will facilitate the development of documentation and associated resources, and monitor progress on these issues.
  • The CAA’s International and Regulatory Strategy unit is examining the regulatory framework underpinning fatigue risk management and considering whether improvements are needed to ensure it remains fit for purpose.

The CAA will collaborate with aviation participants, scientific experts, and government agencies to ensure that relevant information is used to form a sound fatigue risk management system and culture.

Fatigue Risk Management Panel (FRMP)

The FRMP was established on 12 December 2014 to bring together the expertise of a wide range of stakeholders: aviation organisations, pilots, engineers, cabin crew, air traffic controllers, employee representatives, and the scientific and medical communities.

It provides a forum for the exchange of information and suggestions for improving the management of fatigue-related risks in the New Zealand civil aviation system. It also provides input to the CAA's policy development.

FRMP meeting minutes

If you are interested in contributing to this panel, contact Rob Scriven, CAA Fatigue Risk Management Project Manager.

Policy Analysis And Development

The CAA's Fatigue Management discussion document presents the conclusions of policy analysis that was initiated by an Issue Assessment Paper (PDF) submitted to the 22 September 2014 meeting of the CAA’s Issue Assessment Panel.

The policy work will continue as we analyse the feedback received in response to this discussion document to help inform the CAA's regulatory policy for managing fatigue. You will be given further opportunities to comment and contribute as this work progresses.

Fatigue Guidance for Operators

When assessing Flight and Duty Schemes under the current regulatory framework, the CAA is applying its Assessment of Flight and Duty Time Schemes Procedure (PDF 57KB)

This procedure lays out the expectations of the CAA and the process it currently uses to assess schemes for the regulation of flight and duty times that fall outside the expectations in Advisory Circular AC119-2. It is considered an interim procedure, until the Fatigue Risk Management Project is concluded and the outcomes of that project are decided.

Keep Up to Date

You can keep up to date by subscribing to our free email notification service, selecting Medical Matters. If you are already a subscriber, you will need to add Medical Matters to your selection.



The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)  has set the fundamental standards for fatigue management in aviation. Its web site presents an excellent summary on the approaches to fatigue management, supported by comprehensive resources and guidance material. This includes valuable information from the 2016 Symposium on Fatigue Management Approaches in Aviation.

Other Resources

A range of other resources are available on the Internet, from rules in other jurisdictions, industry presentations, academic research, etc. We've collated some of them for your convenience.