The FAA has created a panel of experts that began meeting this month to investigate causes of fatigue among air traffic controllers. The committee is delving into the science of sleep to see what may be impacting the fatigue of controllers and what can be done about it.
In 2015, a study by NASA of 3,200 air traffic controllers found that 20% had made significant on-the-job errors in 2014, which many of the surveyed controllers blamed on fatigue. One third of controllers said that fatigue posses a “high” or “extreme” safety risk.
The air traffic controllers union says the cause of widespread fatigue reported among air traffic professionals is the system not having enough certified controllers.
The three-member panel is to provide a final report to the FAA in about six weeks. Members include:
Mark Rosekind, a safety and sleep/fatigue professional and former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member, will chair the panel.
Charles Czeisler, chief and senior physician, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
- Dr. Erin Flynn-Evans, head of the NASA Ames Research Center Fatigue Countermeasures Laboratory.