Fatigue Risk Management (FRM)

Fatigue Risk Management (FRM)

Reduce fatigue risk – increase productivity.

Setting or legislating flight duty and rest time regulations had been the traditional strategy to manage the challenges of both duty and time zone effects for most airlines. This prescriptive approach has been increasingly questioned due to the lack of good science base and worldwide accepted single standard and is now viewed as a simplified concept for managing risk. ICAO, IATA and IFALPA, the three largest institutions in global civil aviation, have proposed FRM as the future strategy to manage fatigue, based on a new global standard.

What is Fatigue Risk Management?

Firstly let us define fatigue:

"A physiological state of reduced mental or physical performance capability resulting from sleep loss or extended wakefulness and/or physical activity that can impair a crew member’s alertness and ability to safely operate an aircraft or perform safety related duties."

(ICAO, FRMS Implementation Guide for Operators / FRMS Manual for Regulators, 1st edition, July 2011, page 1).


ICAO defines Fatigue Risk Management (FRM) as:

"A data-driven means of continuously monitoring and managing fatigue-related safety risks, based upon scientific principles and knowledge that ensures relevant personnel are performing at adequate levels of alertness."

(ICAO, FRMS Implementation Guide for Operators / FRMS Manual for Regulators, 1st edition, July 2011, page 1).

Why should an airline implement an FRM?

With increasing global crew productivity requirements, new strategies are needed to protect both crews and to provide safe operation.  Increased crew productivity with reduced fatigue risk is a promising advantage of a data driven FRM. Further, regulators such as EASA and the FAA include major elements of an ICAO FRM standard. The step from a compliance-based approach to a performance driven FRM is therefore essential for operators to implement in a timely manner to gain the added benefits in today’s challenging aviation business.

How can we assist you?

For Regulators:

ICAO Annex 6 Part I 4.10.1 States the following:


“The State of the Operator shall establish regulations for the purpose of managing fatigue. These regulations shall be based upon scientific principles and knowledge, with the aim of ensuring that flight and cabin crew members are performing at an adequate level of alertness. Accordingly, the State of the Operator shall establish:

a) regulations for flight time, flight duty period, duty period and rest period limitations; and

b) where authorizing an operator to use a Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) to manage fatigue, FRMS regulations”.


The above standard requires that the State Regulatory Authority establish regulations for fatigue management by the application of known scientific principles, including the dynamics of transient and cumulative sleep loss and recovery, the circadian biological clock, and the impact of workload on fatigue, along with knowledge gained from specific research, operational experience and requirements. KM Flight Research and Training can meet this requirement and provide appropriate guidance in both prescriptive and FRMS based solutions.


For Operators:

The FRMS approach represents an opportunity for you to use advances in scientific knowledge to improve your airline safety and increase your operational flexibility.


ICAO Annex 6 Part I Standard 4.10.2 aims to make clear that, where the State has established regulations for FRMS, operators have three options for managing their fatigue risks:

a) Operate solely with the State’s prescriptive FTL scheme.

b) Implement an FRMS for all operations.

c) Implement an FRMS in part of their operations and use prescriptive FTL scheme in other operations.


Therefore, this ICAO Standard allows you the operator, to decide which method of fatigue management is most appropriate for your specific types of operations. Given this choice, it is likely that you will embrace the safety and operational benefits offered through implementation of a FRMS.


Your FRMS processes need to:

To do this, FRMS processes require different sorts of data, including:

We can provide you with the expertise and guidance to achieve the required ICAO Standard in a cost effective and timely way.