Fatigue Risk Management Systems




  • A physiological state of reduced mental or physical performance capability resulting from sleep loss or extended wakefulness, circadian phase, or workload (mental and/or physical activity) that can impair a crew member’s alertness and ability to safely operate an aircraft or perform safety related duties.
  • As in Safety Management Systems (SMS), the FRMS relies on the concept of an “effective reporting culture” and active involvement of all stakeholders where personnel have been trained and are constantly encouraged to report hazards whenever observed in the operational environment. Unlike prescriptive FTL, an FRMS needs to emphasize the shared responsibility between management and individual crewmembers within an operation, to manage fatigue risks. 



  • By its dynamic, adaptive and analytical nature, FRMS is not easy to implement. It is multi-faceted rather than binary. FRMS requires that an operation be flexible, with a willingness to change if and when required. This may be for all or only specific parts of the business as determined. For large organisations, which are highly automated and systems-dependent, this can be extremely difficult given their inherent inertia and legacy processes. Small changes may require lengthy lead-in times and complex systems integration. This will therefore necessitate careful planning by subject matter experts, including impact forecasting which must account for varying circumstances. Simply relying on the legal limitations as a means of controlling the fatigue risk is easy; however, it is also becoming recognised as incomplete and therefore unacceptable. FRMS requires education, increased expertise and understanding, but any investment made is recoverable through the accrued benefits it brings.




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