The USA’s Federal Aviation Administration has appointed a panel of experts to study new ways to address the issue of air traffic controller fatigue.
According to the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board there were several near-miss incidents in the USA last year, which involved controller mistakes that could have had catastrophic consequences.
The FAA is around 3,000 controllers short of its staffing requirement, despite hitting a goal of employing 1,500 controllers last year.
The three-member panel, which begins work this month, will identify new ways the FAA can address controller fatigue and submit a report to the FAA at the end of February.
The panel is examining how the latest science on sleep needs and fatigue considerations can be applied to controller work requirements and scheduling. As part of the work review previous controller-fatigue research.
Chair of the panel is Mark Rosekind, a safety and sleep/fatigue professional and former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member.
The other members are Charles Czeisler, chief and senior physician, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Erin Flynn-Evans, head of the NASA Ames Research Center’s Fatigue Countermeasures Laboratory.