Fatigue In Air Traffic Controllers


The article on Fatigue in Air Traffic Controllers is different in nature and not consists of typical style and it is seen that air traffic controller people often seems to have workload and they are busy all the time. Due to the stress of work sometime performance is disturbed and lower down especially when performing night shifts. Significant decrements in work performance at night (up to 100 percent) with consequent errors or accidents have been reported in many groups of air traffic controllers engaged on irregular work schedules.

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Facts related to Fatigue in Air Traffic Controllers

From different research made by experts it is observed that the staff members who sleep at work during night time and in second half has raised the number of hazards all over the world because controlling panel is not awake and do not take care about their job. According to (Folkard & Condon, 1987) it is observed that Lapses in performance have been described also among air traffic controllers, concerning the so-called “night-shift paralysis,” such as a sudden immobility of the voluntary muscles during consciousness, which can last from a few seconds to a few minutes, occurring in about 6 percent of the subjects with peaks around 5 a.m.; it seems related to the number of successive night shifts worked and sleep deprivation. Besides, new technologies, which increase cognitive tasks and require more alertness and vigilance, are often more vulnerable to errors than manual work activities.

On the other hand, automated systems may increase monotony and boredom, thus decreasing vigilance and safety, particularly in case of emergency. When public health is concern so it is required that each and every worker must be dedicated to their job and they mist be responsible for any loss or profit. The failures can be resulted in huge loss of economic growth and apart from that social failure can also be resulted.

The best way to reduce the stress at working can be by reducing the pressure of work but it has to be deal with great care and stressors believe that emergency fields can result in loss of social awareness leading to the neglect of certain elements in favor of others. In many cases, such as in emergency conditions, it is those factors outside the person’s perceived central task that prove to be lethal. In aviation, many lives are lost due to controlled flight into the terrain accidents, with attention narrowing serving as a primary culprit. Premature closure, arriving at a decision without exploring all information available, has also been found to be more likely under stress. The current situation is that it is present in a poor state.


The continuous stress of work has brought work loss and aviation staff members do get pressurized sometime. By keep doing same work can bring monotonous in working environment. If you look back at history so you will came to know the list of incidents happened in past. The main reason of that is due to sleeping and it damages the performance.


  • Andlauer P., Rutenfranz J., Kogi K., Thierry H., Vieux N., & Duverneuil G. (1982). “Organization of night shifts in industries where public safety is at stake”. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 49, 353-355
  • Costa G. (1993). “Evaluation of work load in air traffic controllers”. Ergonomics, 36, 1111-1120.

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