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Crew management glossary 

This is the aviation terminology, special words described processes, people and issues in airlines and business aviation operators we use working on Rosterize 

Airline Crewing Enigma

The primary authoritative source for this Glossary is the Airline Crewing Enigma Expert Think Tank Survey conducted on September 7, 2022. Its mission is to define and unify the most commonly used crew management and operations terminology.

The Airline Crewing Enigma consists of 101 participant airlines, and the survey examined 72 unaffiliated responses

Airport Standby, Airport Reserve 

A term to describe a crew to be on-call while on airport property.

Automated Employee Planning

Software that manages scheduled operations for crews and airline employees, creating optimal crew assignments

Bidding, preferential bidding

A computer program for crew scheduling, a method of solving airlines workforce schedules consisting of specific flights and certain qualified crew members while allowing these crew members to request periodic work schedules using weighted preferences. Preferential bidding considers the crew member preferences, seniority, conforming regulations, and operation coverage requirements.

Business jet operators

Air companies that operate business jets, or aircraft designed to transport a small group of people, on an on-demand basis

Commercial airlines

Companies in civil aviation that operate an aircraft for hire or remuneration.

Codeshare air service

A way of codeshare agreement operations when two or more flight operators publish and market the same flight, typically operated by one (administrating carrier, operating carrier), while seats are sold by all cooperating airlines through a distinct designator and flight number.

Crew accommodations 

The function of booking hotels and transportation for scheduled crew overnights

Crew Training, Training Resourses

A performance of training operations dependent on the simulators’ and other training facilities' capacity.

Crew Payroll

The function of auditing crew schedules, usually after flown, to insure proper pay per company or union rules.

Crew Scheduling, Crew Tracking, Crew Control

The function of monitoring crew legalities (governmental and union contracts) and modifying assignments as needed to comply with legalities; assigning open flying to reserve crews; monitoring and repairing crew assignments for misconnects and flight cancelations.

Crew swap, crew rotation

A sequence of non-stop flights, or an itinerary, for a team of aviation staff, created to build a monthly plan with the minor crew resources possible.

Crew teaming

Controls the level of crew members working together over consecutive flights to increase schedule robustness, minimize the risk of delay propagation, and improve crew well-being.


Pilots flying aircraft as passengers off- or on-duty in order to arrive at the airport of the next scheduled flight or return to the base after a flight.

Flight, direct flight, connected flight

Terms referring to a flight type, whether performed non-stop (direct) or with one or multiple stops (connected flight)

Flight segment, flight leg

A indirect flight divided into segments or legs on the way to the base airport.

Floating fleet

Air fleet that operates without returning to the home base and assigns crew and pilots where necessary.

Hub, Base

An airport where an airline permanently bases aircraft and crew and from where it operates routes.

Manpower Planning, Crew Resourse Planning, Crew Staffing

The function that makes crew hiring, upgrade/downgrade, and staffing recommendations from the fleet plan and other forecasted staffing demands.


Business rules applied to pilots, according to the incoming data of the operator, in order to build individualized schedules.

Network Planning, Schedule Planning, Commercial Planning

The function that creates the flight schedule

Part 135, Part 91

Operations according to the Federal Aviation Regulations: Part 135 governs the standards for commercial pilots, aircraft, operations, and passengers compared to non-commercial civil aircraft (Part 91).

Private Jet, Business Jet

A jet aircraft designed for transporting small groups of people, mainly in the business sector, that can be operated by a Charter company or in-house flying operations department.

Pilot rate, pilot admission, pilot credentials, pilot permits

Permits, certifications, credentials, and requirements needed for a pilot to perform compensated flights and get hired by an airline or an operator or assigned to a specific flight

Rating, Seniority

Is an evaluation of a pilot in command of a specific aircraft type, an authorization entered on or associated with a pilot license, stating the pilot's privileges, conditions, or limitations of a certain aircraft type.

Rostering, paring

The process that builds crew pairings in bidding systems and adequately matches the availability, experience, seniority, and certifications of the crew members required for a series of flights in duty periods. Also known as Pattern (typical for Asia) or Trip.

Scheduled operations

Airline operations at a fixed route, as per a predetermined schedule, covering several months or years at a time, having a fixed timing and a fixed flight number, regardless of the occupancy rate.

Single-based, multi-based fleet

Refers to the air fleet operation in which aircraft is based in a fixed location and returns to one or multiple bases after every flight.


A term used for a crew whose schedule consists of the on-call period(s) outside the airport. Also known as Reserve, or in this case, Home Reserve.

Unscheduled operations

Airline operations, also known as Charter services, created for specific seasons or times (often peak) when an aircraft and its operations are provided for an on-demand route or service, including but not limited to passenger flights, cargo, air ambulance, etc.

Working shift, duty

A status for a pilot, or a crew member, to mark the period of their presence on site (the airport) or onboard the aircraft during compensated work or training.

This glossary is created with the terms used most often, and synonyms are presented. Does your company use another terminology?