Our airline has changed the report point to our crew room, which is after security and bag drop. This allows a reduced FDP so that they can operate [what were] 3-crew flights with 2 crew, by not including duties commensurate with operating the flight in the duty time. It is not unknown to take at least 1 hour to get to our crew room from the first duty. Can you please clarify if this exemption is allowed? This is further exacerbated by some flights now requiring a 2 hour report for COVID testing. Do the FDP tables take into account we need to allow at least an hour and a half from the car park to report for duty with this amendment? This means that we arrive at the car park 3½ hours before departure for what could be a 11 hour 2 crew duty.
The CAA Oversight Teams concluded that there is no need to mandate an extended Report Time or force an amendment to OM Part A Section 7 however, they will keep this matter under close review. The current crew report practice has been in place for several years and is designed to support crew meeting face to face for pre-flight briefings. While meeting COVID requirements were a significant burden, the potential delay at Security was factored in by the additional travel time allocated to reach the reporting point. On some circumstances, where the additional travel time may have not covered the delay, the Operator worked with the airport to improve on and mitigate the additional time/stress to an individual’s commute.
There is no ‘standard’ reporting location within regulations because every airport and airline’s circumstances are different and so it is not possible to be prescriptive – reporting point and FDP authorisations form part of the CAA oversight of each airline’s operations manual. Although now somewhat overtaken by events as COVID-screening delays subside, we approached the CAA to see whether they were aware of any change in reporting point for this airline and airport and they engaged with the Company. Contrary to the reporter’s assertion, it appears that the reporting point for this airline has been the crew room for many years and has not changed. The Company responded to the CAA by saying that they added additional time within FDP calculations to account for any COVID-induced security delays in reaching the crew room, but it could be that this and the engagement that the Company were having with the airport to ensure that any actual delays were within the additional time factored into rosters may not have been widely appreciated.