The Scheme for Regulation of the Hours of Civil ATCOs in the UK (SCRATCOH) is often cited as an example where a country has had the foresight to truly recognise the Fatigue problems in Aviation are equally as important in the Air Traffic Control Centre or Tower as it is in the aircraft cockpit. As there has been much discussion about this, we have copied the regulation for information of our members and the travelling public.
Why does the UK have such a legislative scheme to protect it's Aviation workers and the travelling public - but here in Australia it is fervently resisited by Government and CASA? (You may leave a comment at the foot of the article)
Scheme for Regulation of the Hours of Civil ATCOs in the UK
The purpose of this Scheme for Regulation of the Hours of Civil Air Traffic Controllers is to ensure, so far as reasonably possible, that controller fatigue does not endanger aircraft and thereby to assist controllers to provide a service safely and effectively. In all cases the management of controller rostering should be sympathetic to this purpose and where there is any doubt as to the application of these regulations guidance should be sought from the appropriate Regional Manager of ATS Safety Regulation in the case of Airports or the Head of En-route and College Regulation in the case of Area Control Centres.
2 Definitions and Associated Limitations
2.1 Period of Duty
The period between the actual commencement of and the actual end of a shift during which an air traffic controller whose licence contains a rating valid at the unit exercises, or could be called upon to exercise, the privileges of the licence at that unit, and includes prescribed breaks, time spent on other duties such as training, airfield inspection, meteorological observations, collection of landing fees, administration and any extension of duty.
2.1.1 Maximum Period of Duty
Except where other limits are defined within these regulations no period of duty shall exceed 10 hours. Within 720 consecutive hours (30 days) the aggregate of periods of duty and on call duties shall not exceed 300 hours provided that periods of duty do not exceed 200 hours.
2.1.2 Intervals Between Periods of Duty
There shall be an interval of not less than 12 hours between the conclusion of one period of duty and the commencement of the next period of duty. This interval may only be reduced (and only by a maximum of 1 hour) with the approval of the controller concerned and in any individual case such a reduction will be permitted no more than once in a period of 720 consecutive hours (30 days).
2.1.3 Limit on and Interval following Consecutive Periods of Duty
18.104.22.168 Upon the conclusion of six consecutive periods of duty within 144 consecutive hours (6 days), or upon consecutive periods of duty within 144 consecutive hours (6 days) reaching a total of 50 hours, whichever is the earlier, there shall be an interval of a minimum of 60 hours before the commencement of the next period of duty. This interval may be reduced in accordance with paragraph 22.214.171.124.
126.96.36.199 Within 720 consecutive hours (30 days) there shall be not fewer than three intervals between the conclusion of one period of duty and the commencement of the next period of duty. These intervals shall total not less than 180 hours with the minimum interval being not less than 54 hours.
2.2 Operational Duty
The period during which an air traffic controller is actually exercising the privileges of the controller's licence at an operational position.
2.2.1 Breaks in Operational Duty
188.8.131.52 No operational duty shall exceed a period of two hours without there being taken during, or at the end of, that period a break or breaks totalling not less than 30 minutes.
184.108.40.206 At units where workload for any part of the day is judged to be low and the activity is spasmodic rather than continuous, periods of operational duty, at these times, may be extended to a maximum of four hours, provided that the following break is taken pro-rata (e.g. 45 minutes after 3 hours or 60 minutes after 4 hours). (see Note below)
NOTE: Judgements on unit workload are to be made by unit managers in consultation with the appropriate Regional Manager of ATS Safety Regulation in the case of Airports or the Head of En-route and College Regulation in the case of Area Control Centres.
2.3 Night Duty
A period of duty wholly or partly within the period of 0130 and 0529 hours.
2.3.1 Limits on Night Duties
Not more than two night duties may be worked in immediate succession. In all cases the maximum night duty period shall not exceed 9.5 hours and the night duty must conclude no later than 0730 hours.
2.3.2 Interval After Night Duties
Upon the conclusion of two night duties in immediate succession, there shall be an interval of a minimum of 54 hours before the commencement of the next period of duty.
2.4 On Call Duty
A period during which, by prior arrangement, a controller is required to be available toreport at his place of work with the intention of providing an Air Traffic Control Service.
2.4.1 Limits for On Call Duties
220.127.116.11 The maximum On Call period of duty, where the controller does not attend the place of work, shall be 20 hours. For the purpose of this particular limitation, all On Call Duty time spent in attendance at the place of work shall count double. For example, if a controller attends the place of work ten hours after commencing an On Call Duty the 20-hour maximum On Call period of duty will be reached when the controller completes five hours at the place of work. [10 hours + (5 hours x 2 = 10 hours) = 20 hours.]
18.104.22.168 Not more than two On Call duties shall be worked in a period of 144 hours (6 days).
22.214.171.124 Prior to commencing an On Call duty controllers are to be rested in accordance with the scheme's regulations and, if called in, will be subject to the minimum interval between duty periods as specified in paragraph 2.1.2. An On Call duty controller who is not called in during an overnight On Call duty shall not be utilised before midday next following.
126.96.36.199 Normally only one attendance at the place of work per On Call duty shall be permitted.
Units needing to operate in exceptional circumstances outside these limitations may seek modification by the CAA in accordance with paragraph 4.1.