The N-PBS Scheduler tracks the number of language-qualified crewmembers for each language, and language credit. Coverage Awards occur if the amount of credit remaining is greater or equal to the amount of credit that the remaining available people who speak that language can legally take.
Language Coverage Awards force pairings that cover a critical period for particular languages on junior crewmembers to ensure that an excessive number of open-time positions requiring that language does not occur in the critical period.
If overall demand for pairings requiring a given language is insufficient, language Coverage Awards also force as much language-required credit as possible on junior crewmembers, while still honoring their bids (as much as possible) within the pool of language-required pairings.
It is possible to have both Language Coverage Awards and Operational Coverage Awards within the same bid.
Coverage Awards Example
December 25th is a typical example of a critical period in which a pairing stack occurs. Many crewmembers request the day off which causes too many pairings on December 25 to remain in open time.
To ensure coverage for this critical period, the N-PBS Scheduler uses the parameters set by administrators, and determines how many bid preferences for December 25 can be met. Anyone lower in the seniority list is assigned a pairing from the stack first, and then the rest of their block is built using their bid preferences.
Language Legality During the FA Run
During the FA run, no languages are actually assigned until the end of the run. However, no position is awarded unless it is ”language-legal”: a person can only be awarded this pairing if it is still possible to meet all language requirements using the current holders of the pairing and any future holders of the pairing.
At the very end of the FA run, a ”maximal assignment” of languages is given to the people who hold each pairing (i.e. an assignment that meets as many BL requirements as possible and as many route-language requirements as possible). Languages are assigned to the most senior people first. So the most senior person always gets a BL assignment if they’re qualified, and they always get a route-language assigned if they are qualified for any of the route-languages.
Pairing V5001 has one IC position and five FA positions, and requires 3 BL and 2 GE speakers.
The IC assigned is unilingual.
The first FA assigned is BL.
The second FA assigned is BL.
The third FA assigned is BL.
In this situation, the fourth and fifth FAs assigned would have to have GE, and the N-PBS Scheduler would not assign an FA to this pairing who did not have GE.If not enough FAs wanted this pairing, and the language stack for GE was too high during this period, the N-PBS Scheduler would force the pairing on two GE-qualified junior FAs