One of the most vocal groups pushing for new rules are the family members of some of the 50 victims of the 2009 Colgan Air crash in Buffalo. In that case, the pilot of the plane, who commuted to his Newark base from Florida, had spent the night before sleeping in a crew lounge at Newark airport, raising concerns about the role of fatigue with safety investigators at the National Transportation Safety Board. The co-pilot had commuted to work on overnight flights from Seattle and also tried to sleep in the crew lounge, unable to afford a hotel room. Later, internal Colgan emails reportedly raised questions about the pilot's training and capabilities.
"We did recognize that they were likely impaired by fatigue," Deborah Hersman, Chairman of the NTSB, said after the NTSB's initial investigation.
The NTSB also found that about 70 percent of the Colgan Air pilots based at Newark were commuters, many coming from long distances to work. Approximately 20 percent commuted from more than 1,000 miles away.
Scott Maurer, who lost his 30-year-old daughter Lorin in the Buffalo crash, told ABC News today he and the other victims' families are "frustrated" with the new FAA rule.
"The families are frustrated that commuting has not been an issue that has been addressed from a regulatory standpoint at this time," Maurer said. "We requested that this is an item that is brought back up on their agenda and are awaiting some response to that."
The FAA missed two deadlines for implementing the new rules before today's announcement and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D.-New York, previously said the airline industry was possibly stalling them on purpose. A representative for Airlines for America, the major trade group for airlines formerly known as the Air Transport Association, told ABC News earlier this month, "We believe the rules need to be changed and [we] continue to advocate for rules that are based on science and are proven to improve safety."
According to the FAA, the new rules are expected to cost the aviation industry nearly $300 million.
"We made a promise to the traveling public that we would do everything possible to make sure pilots are rested when they get in the cockpit. This new rule raises the safety bar to prevent fatigue," Transportation Secretary LaHood said today.