13th July 2023

Fatigue due to inadequate cabin crew rest provision

Initial Report

My operator operates aircraft with no cabin crew bunks. The provision for cabin crew rest is taken on aircraft jump seats that are located close to aircraft doors and in particular passenger aisle areas. This means that crew whilst taking rest are constantly disturbed, on my flight a passenger fell onto a crew member taking rest because the space between the passenger aisle and crew rest is extremely tight and only separated by an extremely thin curtain. On my last flight all of the cabin crew rest periods were disrupted by passengers banging into crew whilst taking rest. We were left fatigued and exhausted and this potentially can have an impact on safe operation by cabin crew.

Company Comment

Flights that operate on routes without crew rest bunks facilities, or class 1 do not require an extension to the crew members’ FDP.  The availability of crew seats at cabin doors (most are with curtains) are for cabin crew to take a refreshment break and time away from the cabin. The reporter is encouraged to familiarise themselves with the operations manual which details the rest requirements. The reporter is encouraged to report their safety concerns to us using the safety reporting method.

CAA Comment

This is not crew rest for FDP extension, this is a crew break. There is no requirement for crew rest areas unless the operator is extending FDP.

CHIRP Comment

Just because a flight is long and there is the time available for a ‘rest/break’ (in addition to a meal opportunity) this doesn’t mean that ‘inflight rest’ is required to operate the duty.

If the flight duty period (FDP) does not need to be extended then inflight rest is not required. However, in accordance with UK Retained Regulation ORO.FTL.240 Nutrition, a meal opportunity is required (although the provision of food is not).

If the maximum FDP does need to be extended, then ‘inflight rest’ is required.

An aircraft’s rest facilities can restrict what routes an aircraft operates due to the length of the FDP. Not all operators have all the below facilities available onboard.

‘Class 1 rest facility’ means a bunk or other surface that allows for a flat or near flat sleeping position. It reclines to at least 80° back angle to the vertical and is located separately from both the flight crew compartment and the passenger cabin in an area that allows the crew member to control light, and provides isolation from noise and disturbance;

‘Class 2 rest facility’ means a seat in an aircraft cabin that reclines at least 45° back angle to the vertical, has at least a pitch of 55 inches (137.5 cm), a seat width of at least 20 inches (50 cm) and provides leg and foot support. It is separated from passengers by at least a curtain to provide darkness and some sound mitigation, and is reasonably free from disturbance by passengers or crew members;

‘Class  3  rest  facility’  means  a  seat  in  an  aircraft  cabin  or  flight  crew compartment that reclines at least 40° from the vertical, provides leg and foot support and is separated from passengers by at least a curtain to provide darkness and some sound mitigation, and is not adjacent to any seat occupied by passengers.

Please remember that whether at home base or down route, it is an individual’s responsibility to manage their rest accordingly and to ensure that they are ‘fit’ to operate the duty, cabin crew should not be operating when they are unfit to do so. This report states that the crew were fatigued and exhausted, please ensure if you are suffering from the effects of tiredness and/or fatigue, that you report this to your operator.

Up next: