FAA panel to deal with chronic air traffic controller fatigue

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Photo credit: FAA

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.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Well. Dummy. Cut all the public assistance and Medicaid out. Put the people in a situation people it’s either live or die. Quit the belly aching. Baby the people and they grow up without incentive.

    • “Therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.” Deuteronomy 15:11

      It’s hard to understand how Jen, in view of her unrelenting religious fanaticism, seems to have missed this verse.

  2. I thought they solved this problem the other day by hiring the mentally ill and disabled? Now what’s the problem? Are their new employees falling out of holes popping up in the tower walls?

  3. That’s how many baby boomers ended up in the state of Alaska jobs. They had the incentive to get there for the Cadillac healthcare insurance plan and money at the expense of turning Alaska into a bloated government state. But boomers had the incentive because ma and pop (ww2 generation) wouldn’t baby them. So they had to go where the money was.

    • Oh child, stop. You made more “sense” ranting about your unique version of Christianity.

      It’s curious in your pantheon of posts, you have never once blamed yourself for anything. Always someone else’s fault. Until you remove the mote from your eyes, you will never see others clearly.

      • I am curious Avenger what is incorrect in Jens post? I find it pretty spot on. I for one am a baby boomer who moved (back) to Alaska, away from my family, for employment in the early 80’s and did take advantage of employment with great benefits. I also was not babied by my WWII generation hard working parents and I began working at age 13, working all through high school and college. I have been on my own since college and paid for my own education as well as paying off the couple student loans I had to take out, without any Biden style bail out. If I couldn’t afford something I went without or saved until I had the money. So, I would say the post is pretty accurate.

  4. In 2013, FAA management and the air controllers’ union were tasked to develop recommended fatigue-mitigation strategies using fatigue science and research to recommend solutions.
    (https://corescholar.libraries.wright.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1056&context=isap_2017)
    .
    In August, 2015, FAA officials posted the “NASA Controller Fatigue Assessment Report Q&A”.
    (.faa.gov/newsroom/nasa-controller-fatigue-assessment-report-qa?newsId=19294)
    .
    Last Q was: “Does the FAA believe the problem of controller fatigue has improved? Do you have any metrics to judge that by?
    .
    Last A was: “We believe it has improved. Although fatigue is an issue in any 24/7 operation, the FAA has taken many positive steps to minimize fatigue. The fatigue modeling we’ve done shows that there is greater alertness using these updated scheduling practices.”
    .
    In 2020 NASA had to develop an app: “Research App Helps Fight Fatigue in Flight, Space and More”. From the story, “The FAA, several commercial airlines and researchers in occupational health and safety have already requested the app to use in their own studies…”.
    (nasa.gov/aeronautics/nasa-research-app-helps-fight-fatigue-in-flight-space-and-more/)
    .
    Now it takes another “panel” to figure out whether the industry’s woke or asleep at the switch, which means either way, we’re in a heap of trouble, no?

  5. My ex husband was an air traffic controller. Only being President is more stressful research shows. With the new DEI requirements of the FAA, it will only get worse!! They truly have lost their minds.

  6. Why are they bellyaching and throwing more money on this? They studied this same thing with similar claims a few years ago – they hired more ATCs and assigned a “buddy system” so one of the guys on night shift could sleep on the job while the other covered. ATC got 15% pay raises spread over the last three years. Your tax dollars at work boot-polishing their labor union while they cut services and attempt to cut more. The FAA is seriously mismanaged.

  7. The air traffic controller’s union always is trying to pull one over. If they got more money and benefits, the fatigue would disappear. They’re no different than airline pilot’s unions.

  8. When there’s mental illness “leading” (or lack the ability to ) at the top appointed positions. The trickle down effect has a whole new meaning.
    DEI ranks right in there with the climate……..”crisis “

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