Air traffic controllers (ATCOs) generally work rotating shifts to provide continuous air traffic control. This work organization requires individuals to work at times when they would normally be sleeping and exacerbates fatigue generated by Air Traffic Control (ATC) that requires constant concentration.
Despite their obvious impact on flight safety outcomes, ICAO SARPs have never required the hours of work to be limited for air traffic controllers. This is about to change. Amendments to Annex 11, becoming applicable in 2020, will require that ICAO States establish duty limits and specify certain scheduling practices for air traffic controllers. States will have the option of establishing FRMS regulations for air traffic service providers.
Fatigue is an inevitable hazard in the around-the-clock aviation environment, naturally degrading various types of human performance. NLR provides structured fatigue management methods to address the safety implications of fatigue.
NLR has the experience and scientific knowledge to support authorities and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) in establishing the required duty limits compliant to the ICAO SARPS. We can provide guidance on the implementation of both the prescriptive and performance-based approaches of fatigue management.