Pilots can now take a nap while operating a flight provided the forty winks are no longer than 40 minutes on a flight of duration of three hours or more.
On longer flights, the flight crew may take more than one rest period, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has said.
The aviation regulator said it had been observed that short sleep periods of only 25 minutes can help improve performance.
“Controlled rest shall be used on a flight sector with a minimum duration of 3 hours. It shall not be longer than 40 minutes with another 20 minutes for operational orientation before resuming flight deck duties,” the DGCA order said.
The resting pilot shall keep his seat belt and harnesses fastened and move the seat aft to such a position that unintentional interference with the controls is minimised.
“The non-resting pilot must not leave his seat for any reason, including physiological breaks. The non-resting pilot shall keep his seat belt and harness fastened; wear a headset with the cockpit audio speaker adjusted to normal volume,” the order said.