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Sep 9, 2010 8:28 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

FAA close to proposing pilot fatigue rule

Aviation officials are on the verge of proposing new rules governing the number of hours airline pilots may work in an effort to prevent tired flight crews from making fatal errors.

The Federal Aviation Administration has taken 15 months to propose the rules despite promises of swift action from officials. Final rules are months - perhaps even a year - down the road.

Administration officials declined to discuss the reasons for the delay. But lawmakers and industry officials say the difficulty has been demonstrating that the safety benefits of stricter rules will outweigh the cost to the airline industry.

The impetus for the new rules was the crash of a regional airliner in western New York on Feb. 12, 2009, that killed 50 people.

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