29th January 2024

Unrealistic Ground transportation time

Initial Report

I was given unrealistic ground transport times on an operating day multiple times. For example, I am based at [Airport 1] and was rostered to position to [Airport 2] with 2hrs allowed for the journey [using a popular satnav tool the driving time from [Airport 1] to [Airport 2] is quoted as typically being between 1hr40min to 2hr10min off peak and subject to further delays depending on traffic conditions]. How do I get through security, obtain food etc and still make the report time? The company response was that they “…cannot add more time to your ground transport as it will cause a FDT legality. We roster ground transport from airport to airport, you are free to leave earlier. [Airport 1] to [Airport 2] takes less than 2 hours”.  Literally getting out of the car leaving it at the side of the road and running through security will take 2hrs30mins minimum. If the ground transport time is wrong then the duty is illegal isn’t it? Don’t we need more staff? Retain pilots? Keep the roster legal and mitigate fatigue?

They altered my block so I was flying a full block out of base at [Airport 2] but this wasn’t the action they wanted. They wanted me to travel in my own time in excess of the legal limits to operate at another base.

CHIRP Comment

CHIRP agrees that crews should not be pressured to try to achieve the unachievable and the company’s response was inappropriate. If it had been a taxi then perhaps it might have just about been feasible given that the reporter wouldn’t have to park, but it’s still tight. CHIRP commends the reporter for sticking to their guns and demanding a change to the roster, which worked out in the end but shouldn’t have been necessary.  Our concern is that someone more biddable might have acquiesced and then would no doubt have been criticised for not making it on time. Unfortunately, the reporter didn’t get back to us to give permission to contact the company to get their perspective but we felt that the report was worthy of publication in a heavily disidentified form in order to highlight the issue to others.

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