Work and Rest Scheme

Work and Rest Scheme

34TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Jerusalem, Israel, 27-31 March 1995

WP No. 125

Work and Rest Scheme


While reviewing existing IFATCA policies, SC4 identified the need to update policy on “work and rest scheme”.


During discussion within SC4, the need to define the concept of “Operational duty” was identified, in order to clarify the scope of the policies defined in the Manual.

SC4 also discussed the proposed number of working hours per week (currently 32). In our view such policy remains valid and any other working period beyond the 32 hours period should be regarded as extra duty and obey to the principles established by the Federation on that particular item. Further discussion showed a need to reinforce current regulations regarding breaks, since the use of radar and/or visual terminals becomes more and more common within ATC. ATCO’s using such equipment should be given breaks at shorter intervals. Existing policy on night-work should focus on restricting the number of operational duty hours rather than the total working time at night.


SC4 defines duty as the period during which an ATCO is actually exercising the privilege of his licence at an operational position. Existing policy on a maximum of 32 hours of operational duty (including breaks) per week remains valid and should be reinforced. ATCO’s using radar and/or visual displays should be given a break after every 90 minutes of operational duty. A maximum of 5 hours of operational duty should not be exceeded during nighttime.


IFATCA Manual page 4131 insert para. 3.2:


“Operational duty – The period during which an ATCO is actually exercising the privileges of the ATCO’s licence at an operational position.”

IFATCA page 4131 para 3.2.1 be amended to read:

The average sum of operational duty and breaks should not exceed 32 hours per week.

IFATCA Manual page 4131 para 3.2.2 be amended to read:

Each shift should not exceed 7 hours 30 minutes including breaks.

IFATCA Manual page 4131 para 3.2.3 be amended to read:

The continuous operational duty for an ATCO should not exceed 2 hours and should be reduced to 90 minutes for ATCOs working with visual terminal/or radar displays; after which a minimum 30 minutes break, away from the working environment should be given to ATCOs.

IFATCA Manual page 4131 para 3.2.4 be amended to read:

By night the total operational duty time should not exceed 5 hours.

IFATCA Manual page 4131 para 3.2.5 should be deleted.

IFATCA Manual page 4132 para 3.2.6 and 3.2.7 should be deleted.

Last Update: September 28, 2020  

February 12, 2020   245   Jean-Francois Lepage    1995    

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