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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Schedule Changes for Air Traffic Service (ATS) Providers: Controller Alertness and Fatigue Monitoring Study.  (2012)
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The FAA's Fatigue Risk Management Program is developing a Fatigue Risk Management System that will include science-based shift scheduling and other strategies designed to maintain air traffic controllers' alertness over the 24-hour clock and to reduce negative impacts of fatigue on Air Traffic Control (ATC) operations. NASA was tasked with conducting research to provide up-to-date knowledge about the state of controller shift work, sleep, alertness and factors contributing to controller fatigue. To that end, the NASA research team conducted a two-pronged effort: a web-based survey of fatigue factors that was available to the entire ATC workforce and a field study that obtained objective measures of sleep, fatigue and alertness in a sample of controllers from selected facilities, including En Route Centers, TRACONs, and ATC Towers. During 2010, 3,268 United States ATC personnel completed the online fatigue survey. The field study resulted in complete data being obtained from 211 controllers working at 30 facilities across the country. Data consisted of 14 days of continuous sleep and activity monitoring using wrist-worn actigraphs, daily sleep and activity logs, a brief objective measure of alertness, and subjective ratings of sleepiness and workload. The purpose of the present study was to establish a quantified baseline for evaluating the impact of the FAA's planned fatigue risk mitigation strategies. Findings also will identify factors affecting fatigue and assist in targeting and designing future research areas. Results from this study were compared to those obtained from a 1999 survey (Della Rocco et al., 2000a) and several field studies conducted by the FAA between 1995-2005 (Della Rocco & Cruz, 1995; Cruz & Della Rocco, 1995b; Della Rocco & Cruz, 1996; Della Rocco et al., 2000b; Cruz et al., 2002; Della Rocco & Nesthus, 2005; Broach & Schroeder, 2005).
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Air Traffic Control, Fatigue, Human Performance, Shift Work
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Technical Report DOT/FAA/HFD-13/001. Washington, DC: Federal Aviation Administration
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Jessica Nowinski
Last Updated: August 15, 2019