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bbrownPWM's Blog


  • June 04, 2018
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Hey Ops!


I just wanted to reach out and see what the industry is doing in the way of schedules for employees. Primarily, Operations and Maintenance. We have an opportunity to make some changes and we're wondering what the standard is for the industry. Five 8hr shifts? Four 10hr shift? Splits? On call?


PWM is a 24/7 Small Hub airport with almost 2 million passengers annual and growing. We have a brutal Winter that requires a lot of overtime and a beutiful Summer and people like to use their vacation time. I am new here, but we have a bit of a consistency issue in that the entry level Ops position has a 4/10 schedule while the supervisors have a 5/8 plus two shifts that are two 8hr/two 12hr shifts for weekend coverage. While we would love to develop something that is preferable for our employees, ultimately we need coverage. 


So, how do you do it?

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royr2, thank you for the input. It sounds like the entire industry is in somewhat of a shortage at the moment. We have had struggles hiring maintenance personnel especially. I've had a number of shifts on my way to where I am now and I haven't seen a schedule as good as the one that our team has now, but they are interested in 4/10s and I'm curious how well they work for a 24/7 operation. On paper the numbers don't work very well. 

I might add, there was a time we went down to 2 people and it was really rough, at which point we started having the PSOs conduct the evening inpsections and handle anything Ops-related when we had holes in coverage. Ever since then, our PSOs are being proactive to be our 'backups' should our numbers ever decline that far again. 

We have been short staffed for a very long time, so the way we do it is an AM/Days person that works 0430-1300 with Sat/Sun off, a PM/Evenings person that works 1500-2330 (or last airline in) with Mon/Tues off, and a Split person that works Sat/Sun Morning Shift (10 hour), then Mon/Tue Evening Shift (10 hour), and has Wed/Thu/Fri off. It works pretty well for us. The 2 hour gap on weekdays is covered by our manager. This has been our working system for almost a year now, until we have enough people that we can re-activate our overnight shift. 

The times of course are based on the first and last airline activity of each day and can fluctuate some. We also have a mandatory rotation every month or so to prevent complacency in one shift. It's not the greatest (especially the AM shift), but it gets the job done for our needs until we are back to full staffing.



Would you mind giving me some details about the schedule and staffing numbers/structure? I would like to entertain my staff if possible, but I believe it will cause more complications than solutions at this point. 

Both of the small hubs I have been at had Operations departments on 4-day/10-hour shifts with 24/7 coverage. The Maintenance departments were on a 5-day/8-hour schedule; some days had continuous coverage, others did not. 


SKat, thank you for the info. Sounds like you guys have it to a science down there! 

Operations Officers/Supervisors are normally at SRQ 0530L - 0100L. Police, ARFF, & Communications (part of Ops) are here 24/7. The three Ops Officers work 4/10 (two night rotations and one morning rotation). The Supervisors work a 5/8 rotation (8-4, M-F) or a 4/10 rotation (0530 - 1530, M-Th). The shifts rotate every eight weeks.

For events occurring 0100 - 0530: 0100 - 0330, the night person is recalled and 0330 - 0530 the morning preson is called in. At those hours most of the Ops staff can be at SRQ within 15 minutes.

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