4 out of 10 British pilots 'dozing off' in-flight due to new '22-hr flying rules' imposed by EU
Two pilots in the UK fell asleep while in sole charge of passenger planes thousands of feet up in the air, according to a report.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority revealed that their co-pilots had been on the flight deck at the time and both had been alone in the cockpit when they slept off.
It comes after pilots' groups raised concerns over the new flying hours imposed by the EU, which they said could lead to precisely this problem, the Daily Mail reports.
According to the paper, under the new rules, pilots could be landing commercial jets after 22 hours awake, including 11 hours flying, plus stand-by time and travel to the airport.
British MPs had warned in their original report that 22 hours of wakefulness was 'an extraordinary figure', particularly for night flying, that raised levels of fatigue equivalent to being 'drunk,' the paper said.
UK pilots can currently go up to 18 hours without sleep, but more than four out of ten pilots already report nodding off in-flight, of whom a third awoke to find their co-pilot also asleep, the paper added.