Sleep and fatigue were investigated in aviation search and rescue, firefighting, emergency medical services and offshore transfer operations in 210 participants, for 21 days each, across 17 datasets in seven countries. Sleep data were collected using wrist-worn actigraphs and sleep diaries. Sustained attention was assessed using a 5-min Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT). Duty information was provided from corporate IT systems. Despite the number of 24 h operations, most work occurred during daytime hours, and most sleep occurred at night. There were seasonal changes in work and sleep patterns, with naps used to augment total sleep time. The proportion of sleep occurring during duty varied from zero to 30%. Differences in PVT response times were trivial to small. Legislation that defines flight, duty time and minimum rest limits assume that sleep is not obtained during duty periods, apart from some napping under Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS). However, especially in cases where the aviation service requires waiting for tasks (e.g. search and rescue, emergency medical response), this assumption may not always hold. FRMS should accommodate different modes of working that safely facilitate sleep during duty time where appropriate.