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Pilots, cabin crew call for better fatigue protection in upcoming EU legislation

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Pilots distribute leaflets at the arrivals hall of Brussels airport on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013. Pilots and cabin crew across Europe hold actions against the newly proposed European flight duty time rules that causes a safety risk, according to the protesters. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)The Associated Press

Pilot and cabin crew organizations are calling for better protection against in-flight fatigue in planned European Union legislation.

Pilots and crew members on Tuesday staged demonstrations in several European airports and handed over petitions to authorities, saying that proposals to harmonize EU legislation would force them to fly excessive hours and threaten the safety of passengers.

They say that pilots could be asked to fly for over 12 hours when scientists claim safety is significantly endangered because of fatigue after 10 hours.

The Association of European Airlines counters that the current proposal of the European Aviation and Safety Agency would make sure the EU would have one of the strictest rules in the world.

New EU legislation is expected later this year.