Best Practices


A Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) is a data-driven means of continuously monitoring and managing fatigue-related safety risks, based on scientific principles and knowledge as well as operational experience, which aim to ensure that relevant personnel are performing at adequate levels of alertness. Crew Members should be aware of the Fatigue risk management program within their airline and when and how to report fatigue.


FRMS is an enhancement to prescriptive flight and duty time limitations (FTLs). It allows an operator to adapt policies, procedures and practices to the specific conditions that create fatigue in a particular aviation setting. Operators may tailor their FRMS to unique operational demands and focus on fatigue mitigation strategies that are within their specific operational environment.

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 Crew members within an operation, to manage fatigue risks.


Just as SMS, FRMS is a management process built on organizational policies and procedures that implement a systematic approach to fatigue management. This ensures that FRMS is an integrated network of people and resources performing activities designed to minimize fatigue in the operational environment.

It is important to point out that there is no “off-the-shelf” version of an FRMS; each operator will need to develop an FRMS appropriate to its organizational and operational specificity and the nature and level of the fatigue risk(s).


The FRMS Implementation Guide for commercial aircraft operators marks the collaboration between IATA, ICAO and the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) to jointly lead and serve industry in the ongoing development of fatigue management, using the most current science. It presents the common approach of pilots, regulators and operators to the complex issue of fatigue.


The Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS) Guide for commercial aircraft operators has been jointly developed with ICAO and the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA). It presents the common approach of pilots, regulators and operators to the complex issue of fatigue. This information in this guide is likewise applicable to Cabin Crew.

FRMS Implementation Guide for Airline Operators, 2nd Edition

The FRMS Implementation Guide includes valuable insight into the methodology and framework for implementing an effective fatigue risk management program and an explanation of the science supporting it.


Regulations specifying the minimum limits applicable to flight time, flight duty periods and rest periods for Crew Members are usually approved by national civil aviation authorities. The prime objective of flight time duty limitations and subsequent rest periods is to ensure that Crew members are adequately rested at the beginning of each flying duty period and subsequently during the flight, and are sufficiently free of fatigue so that they can operate in all normal, abnormal and emergency situations.


A flight duty period is intended to cover a continuous period of duty, which always includes a flight, or a series of flights. It includes all duties a Crew Member may be required to carry out from the time of reporting for duty on the day of a flight or series of flights, until completion of all duties relating to the flight or series of flights.


The definition of a rest period implies an absence of duty and is intended to provide adequate time for rest following a flight or series of flights. Airlines should ensure that the procedures are followed to ensure that Crew Members do not exceed their flight time limitations and that adequate controls are in place to ensure that Crew Members are not assigned duties during required rest periods. Crew Members have a responsibility to ensure that they use their rest periods to rest.


Airlines should comply with their regulatory requirements to provide adequate inflight Crew rest facilities.


When establishing duty times, the size of the Crew complement and the tasks to be performed should be taken into account. Where rest facilities are provided in the aircraft in such a way that a Crew member may have horizontal rest and a degree or privacy, flight duty periods may be extended.


Time spent by Crew Members positioning or deadheading to or from duty assignments is not considered to be a part of a rest period.

Fatigue Education Awareness Training (Paperback)

Fatigue Education Awareness Training (Kindle)