U.S. tells pilots to focus on flightpath management even on autopilot

A plane passes the air traffic control tower at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON, Feb 2 (Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Wednesday it was issuing draft guidance and recommended practices for flightpath management for pilots.

The FAA said the issue is important in the operation of airplanes with highly automated systems and said it was important that even on autopilot flight crews “should always be aware of the aircraft’s flightpath so they can intervene if necessary.”

The guidance addresses a National Transportation Safety Board recommendation and some requirements specified by Congress in late 2019 as part of reforms adopted after two fatal Boeing (BA.N) 737 MAX crashes.

The FAA said the advisory “provides a single framework for operations and training programs. This will help pilots develop and maintain manual flight operations skills and avoid becoming overly reliant on automation.”

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Reporting by David Shepardson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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