Pilots will be allowed to take a nap in the cockpit during flights, provided the nap is less than 40 minutes on a flight duration of at least three hours, say new draft rules by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
During the nap, the other pilot cannot leave the cockpit under any circumstances and should awaken the resting pilot in case of an abnormal situation. “Controlled rest shall commence after completion of Top of Climb scan and will terminate 30 minutes before planned Top of Descent,” the draft says.
The nap will be allowed at the discretion of the commander during low-workload periods. The cockpit nap is not a substitute for pre-flight sleep but a response to unexpected fatigue. Only one pilot can rest at a time.
“Controlled rest is in line with the industry best practice. Many regulatory bodies currently endorse controlled rest and the practice is a formal procedure in many airlines. NASA research has stated that “naps have a beneficial effect on performance and may be the best most effective countermeasure against fatigue at work,” the draft says.