4th April 2023

Working During Rest Periods on Layovers Down-route

Initial Report

Recently, it has become apparent that some crew appear to be undertaking voluntary work for charities whilst down route. The individual(s) concerned have posted on forums about undertaking unpaid charity work at various hours of the day and night, apparently when on company time during rest periods on layovers. It concerns me that crew are using time when they should be resting in order to perform this kind of work and I’m concerned as to whether it is even legal. The company itself appears to be doing nothing to discourage this. The admirable intentions of the individual(s) concerned are, of course, completely understandable. However, I would not feel happy performing safety related duties on the way home with somebody who I knew could potentially be fatigued due to working when they should have been resting. Could CHIRP comment onto the legalities of this? Is it simply the case that it doesn’t matter as long as the individual says they are well rested, or are there any CAA rules around this?

Company Comment

There are no regulations regarding what a crew member can or can’t do whilst down-route, the only requirement is that they report rested for duty and that they make good use of the rest facilities provided, our operations manual states the following:

(3)       The crew member shall not perform duties on an aircraft if he/she knows or suspects that he/she is suffering from fatigue or feels otherwise unfit to the extent that the flight may be endangered.

(4)       Make optimum use of the opportunities and facilities for rest provided and plan and use their rest properly.

Cabin Crew Management have confirmed that there are no other formal rules around down-route activities/rest periods.

CAA Comment

The operator’s should be looking at this on a case-by-case basis. Down-route is a rest period that should be managed responsibly by the crew members.

CHIRP Comment

The effects of fatigue and an individual’s susceptibility to it are not an exact science, it is up to the crew member to manage their rest and understand that they have a responsibility to ensure adequate rest is achieved prior to their duty. Some crew do a 10k run to relax and wind-down, whereas some crew may find a 10k run fatiguing. It is important to be aware of sleep deprivation, accumulative fatigue and the circadian rhythm. Flight time limitations (FTLs) are designed to allow a crew member to have a suitable amount rest prior to their duty, sleep deprivation, accumulative fatigue and the circadian rhythm feature heavily when these limitations are calculated. Crew member fatigue is now acknowledged as a hazard that predictably degrades various types of human performance and can contribute to aviation accidents and incidents. Whether at home or down route remember, it’s an individual’s responsibility to report for their duty fit to operate.

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