NASA Controller Fatigue Assessment Report Q&A

Press Release – NASA Controller Fatigue Assessment Report Q&A

What steps has the FAA taken to relieve the problem of controller fatigue?

In 2012, the FAA implemented a comprehensive Fatigue Risk Management System to manage controller fatigue. This Fatigue Risk Management System includes policy and practice changes, along with fatigue education to raise awareness about the personal responsibilities associated with managing fatigue.

Some of the changes the FAA has made as part of the Fatigue Risk Management System include:

  • Allowing for recuperative breaks when no duties are assigned
  • Requiring nine hours off duty where a day shift follows an evening shift
  • Requiring positive confirmation of air traffic hand-offs during midnight operations
  • Restricting consecutive midnight shifts
  • Restricting 10-hour midnight shifts
  • Restricting the start time of early morning day shifts that precede a midnight shift
  • Allowing controllers to self-declare fatigue and take time off if needed to recuperate

Has the FAA’s policy on napping on breaks changed? How about napping during overnight shifts?

Yes, we updated our policy in 2012. Based on staffing and workload – and when no duties are assigned – we offer employees break opportunities to attend to personal needs, rejuvenate their mental acuity, and other similar activities. These break opportunities are available on all work shifts, including overnight shifts.

Does the FAA still prohibit schedules with a single controller on duty after midnight?

The FAA makes a practice of staffing at least two controllers on midnight shifts. There could be situations in which an individual calls in sick, but that is not standard. On those rare occasions, we have implemented additional procedures to ensure controller alertness.

How has controller scheduling changed? Is the minimum 9 hours off between work shifts announced after these events still in effect? Does this apply to all work shifts, or just the 2-2-1 rotation?

Yes, we have changed our scheduling policies and practices. These changes include:

  • Requiring nine hours off duty where a day shift follows an evening shift
  • Restricting consecutive midnight shifts
  • Restricting the number of 10-hour midnight shifts
  • Restricting the start time of early morning day shifts that precede a midnight shift to ensure night time sleep opportunities

The minimum nine hours off between work shifts is an ongoing requirement under Joint Order 7210.3. It doesn’t apply to all shifts. It applies to all schedules where a day shift follows an evening shift (this protects nighttime sleep opportunity).

Does the FAA believe the problem of controller fatigue has improved? Do you have any metrics to judge that by?
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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

RSS Plane Crash News

Blogroll

  • Air Consumer.gov
  • AirCrashConsultants
  • Airfleets
  • Airliners.net
  • AOPA
  • Bird Strike Database
  • Bird Strike Database Query
  • EASA
  • FAA
  • Find A Pilot
  • Frixo
  • IATA
  • International Civil Aviation Organization
  • Montreal Convention MC99 English
  • Nasa
  • NOAA
  • NTSB
  • RITA
  • U.S. Office of Special Counsel
May 2018
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
  • Relatives of MH17 plane crash victims launch court battle against Russia in ECHR — TV https://t.co/bt3nOxdKzt
    about 5 hours ago
  • Search resumes for plane that disappeared over Lake Michigan nearly 70 years ago https://t.co/uPrQQMUxCU
    about 6 hours ago
  • No emergency braking to blame for fatal Uber crash; https://t.co/FcGqOL1KHO
    about 9 hours ago
  • Two Escape Serious Injury After Helicopter Crashes At Olympia Airport https://t.co/lyiBCwp3r3
    about 10 hours ago
  • Southwest Flight Makes Emergency Landing After Window Cracks In-Flight https://t.co/e5WxhTDitc
    about 11 hours ago