Continuous Duty

Continuous duty is commonly used in airline environments. Continuous duty is when a crew member reports in the afternoon/evening and flies to a destination where they "sit" for several hours before flying back in the morning. Most companies have polices to provide hotels for crew, but the time sitting is not legally considered rest. For example, you could report at 21:00 and be done the next morning at 09:00 if you only flew two flights.

How will the new regulations affect continuous duty?

  • Based on the time of report, the average flight time, and number of flights, a crew member's maximum flight duty may be limited. For example, if you are doing two flights, both about 2 hours long and your acclimatized report time is 21:00, your maximum flight duty period is 12 hours. See 700.28 - Maximum Flight Duty Period

  • Split Flight Duty have been much improved and don't have to be scheduled advance. See 700.50 - Split Flight Duty

    1. The break has to happen in suitable accommodation (travel time is not part of a break).

    2. The break has to be a minimum of 60 minutes + 45 minutes (see point 4 below).

    3. The maximum duty period is increased by 100% for scheduled breaks between 0000 and 0559, 50% for scheduled breaks between 0600 and 2359, 50% for breaks due to unforeseen operational circumstances. (Time is based on acclimatized time zone, not local time.)

    4. 45 minutes is for getting ready for bed, falling asleep, and waking up. So if the break is 120 minutes, only 75 minutes is used to calculate an increase of duty period.

    5. Can only be used for three consecutive nights if a crew member is on a night duty (means hours of work that begin between 13:00 and 01:59 and that end after 01:59 at a location where the flight crew member is acclimatized).

  • An air operator shall not assign to a flight crew member more than three consecutive flight duty periods if any part of those periods falls between 02:00 and 05:59, unless the air operator provides the member with one local night’s rest at the end of the third flight duty period. However, an air operator can assign five consecutive flight duty periods that falls between 02:00 and 05:59 if they provide the flight crew member a break of at least 3 hours in suitable accommodations every night and provide 54 consecutive hours free from duty at the end of the last flight duty period. See 700.51 - Consecutive Flight Duty Periods

  • The new regulations provide protection for disruptive scheduled. You must have a local night's rest if you go from a late duty/night duty to an early duty or vice versa. For example, lets say you end your late duty period at 01:30 on Monday, based on your acclimatized time zone. If your next duty period began between 0200 and 0659 you would need a rest period of at least 9 hours between 2230 and 0930 in your acclimatized time zone. In this example an early duty is only possible on Wednesday after 0200. This rule only applies when flipping between late duty/night duty and early duty and vice versa. See 700.41 Disruptive Schedule

The new regulations do include a huge section (700.200 - 700.259) at allows airlines exemptions from some aspects if they can prove they are not fatiguing. More to come on this in a later article.

Unfortunately these changes only apply to 703, 704, and 705 operators.