Mode Aviation
Reference No. AR201300045
Date reported 28 May 2013
Concern title Cabin crew fatigue
Concern summary

The concern related to the fatigue experienced by cabin crew when rostered on long back of the clock duties on consecutive nights.

Industry / Operation affected Aviation: Air transport
Concern subject type Aviation: Cabin safety

Reporter's concern

The reporter expressed a safety concern regarding the fatigue levels experienced when rostered on consecutive back of the clock duties [location] to [location] return flights. The reporter stated that it is very difficult to get enough rest during the daytime rostered rest period to prevent fatigue on the second duty. These increased fatigue levels affect work performance and jeopardise cabin safety.

The reporter stated that on the return sector of the second duty, cabin crew were dropping things, bumping into passengers with the service carts, and generally were having difficulty performing their daily duties.

The reporter also expressed concern that the transport provided by the operator to home or to a hotel is often unreliable. Cabin crew are regularly waiting in the terminal for transport for up to 45 minutes after signing off even when it was pre-arranged. This added unnecessarily to fatigue levels. The reporter was concerned that cabin crew were driving themselves home in a fatigued state rather than wait for arranged transport. The reporter stated that it is not uncommon that no transport is available and that they are instructed to drive themselves home or to the closest hotel.

Operator's response (Operator 1)

The airline has controls in place to manage fatigue including duty hour limitations, minimum rest requirements, fatigue report monitoring and measures which our crew can use during and after work duties to manage fatigue risks. Crew should request transport and hotel accommodation options if fatigued, which the airline will provide to prevent crew driving in a fatigued state. Crew are never instructed to drive while fatigued.

Regulator's response (Regulator 1)

CASA has reviewed the content of this REPCON and has identified that the reporter has described situations both on and off the aircraft. The post duty circumstances described may be a workplace safety matter that CASA is not directly involved in. CASA conducts regular surveillance of operator's fatigue management processes and will consider the reporter's concerns related to air transport operations at the next scheduled event.

Last update 24 March 2014