FLIGHT AND DUTY LIMITATIONS AND REST REQUIREMENTS REVIEW
FAR Part 117 describes the minimum rest requirements for flightcrew members and certificate holders conducting passenger operations under Part 121.
FAR 117 also applies when a flight crew is participating in a Part 91 operation on behalf of the Part 121 certificate holder when any flight segment is conducted as a domestic passenger, flag passenger, or supplemental passenger operation.
This post is a refresher to provide details about required duty limitations and rest times.
FAR Part 117 Rest Period
Before beginning any reserve or flight duty period, a flightcrew member must be given at least 30 consecutive hours free from all duty within the past 168 consecutive hour (7 day) period. If a flightcrew member operating in a new theater has received 36 consecutive hours of rest, they are considered acclimated and the rest period meets these requirements.
A flightcrew member must be given a minimum of 56 consecutive hours of rest upon return to home base if they:
- Travel more than 60° longitude during a flight duty period or during a series of flight duty periods, and
- Are away from home base for more than 168 consecutive hours (7 days) during this travel. The required 56 hours of rest must include three “physiological” nights’ rest based on local time.
Under FAR 117, crewmembers cannot be scheduled for any reserve or flight duty period unless they are given a rest period of at least 10 consecutive hours immediately before beginning the reserve or flight duty measured from the time they were previously released from duty. The 10-hour rest period must provide the crewmember with a minimum of 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep opportunity. If the crewmember determines that the rest period will not provide eight uninterrupted hours of sleep opportunity, they must notify the company. The crewmember cannot report for the assigned flight duty period until he or she receives the required rest period.
(Here’s some clarification about recent confusion about crew duty and rest times.)
FAR 117 Flight Duty & Time Limitations
A crewmember cannot be assigned to (or accept) a flight duty assignment if:
- The total flight time exceeds 9 hours when the report time is from 0500 to 1959
- The total flight time exceeds 8 hours for all other report times
- The scheduled flight duty period will exceed the limits in the table shown below
(FAA timetable charts provided by FAR117 Understanding.)
If unforeseen operational circumstances arise after takeoff that are beyond the company’s control, a flightcrew member may exceed the maximum flight time and the cumulative flight time limits to the extent necessary to safely land the aircraft at the next destination airport or alternate, as appropriate. The company must report these exceedances to the FAA.
Split Duty Periods
If a flightcrew member is provided with a rest opportunity in a suitable accommodation during his or her flight duty period, the time that the crewmember spends in that accommodation is not considered part of the flight duty period provided that the following conditions are met:
- The rest opportunity is provided between the hours of 22:00 and 05:00 local time.
- At least 3 hours is spent in the accommodation (starting when crewmember reaches the accommodation).
- The rest opportunity is scheduled prior to the flight duty period.
- The actual time of rest opportunity is not less than the scheduled time.
- The rest opportunity is provided after the first flight segment is complete.
- The combined time of the flight duty period and the rest opportunity does not exceed 14 hours.
Flight Duty Period Extensions
When unforeseen operational circumstances arise prior to takeoff, the maximum flight duty period may be extended up to 2 hours (provided that the extension will not cause the crewmember to exceed cumulative flight duty period limits). The maximum combined flight duty period and reserve availability periods may also be extended up to 2 hours. An extension of more than 30 minutes may occur only once prior to receiving a rest period.
When unforeseen operational circumstances arise after takeoff, the maximum flight duty period may be extended to the extent necessary to safely land the aircraft at the next destination airport (or alternate airport). In this case, the extension may exceed cumulative flight duty period limits. An extension of more than 30 minutes may occur only once prior to receiving a rest period.
An airport/standby (or short call) reserve period may not exceed 14 hours. Once the reserve period is complete, the crewmember cannot accept another reserve assignment until he or she has been given the required rest period. The total number of hours a crewmember may spend in a flight duty period and a reserve availability period may not exceed the lesser of the maximum applicable flight duty period in the below table plus 4 hours, or 16 hours as measured from the beginning of the reserve availability period.
If the Company contacts a crewmember on long call reserve for a flight duty assignment that will begin before (and operate into) the crewmember’s circadian low, the Company must provide that crewmember with a 12- hour notice of report time.
Crewmembers cannot be scheduled for (or accept) an assignment when:
- Total flight time will exceed 100 hours in any 672 consecutive hours (28 days)
- Total flight time will exceed 1,000 hours in any 365 consecutive calendar day period
- Total flight duty period will exceed 60 hours in any 168 consecutive hours (7 days), or
- Total flight duty period will exceed 190 flight duty period hours in any 672 consecutive hours (28 days)
This content is part of TrainingBoom’s comprehensive online training library.
To learn more, contact us for a demo or hear what our customers have to say.