Investigating Air Traffic Controllers’ Sleepiness Levels and Roster Matrix for Fatigue Risk Management

Published: 26 September 2019| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/yffdxr5mmw.1
Jingyi Zhang


This research aims to investigate Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) sleepiness levels and their roster matrix to develop a best practice FRM roster. Fifty-seven qualified ATCOs participated in the current study. The results demonstrated that the compressed nature of the roster between shift-4 and shift-5 increased fatigue levels by reducing preceding sleeping hours and accumulating circadian dysrhythmia. Older ATCOs suffered more from night shifts and experienced significantly higher fatigue levels compared with younger ATCOs. Furthermore, the last three hours (6th hour, 7th hour, and 8th hour) on the working position presented high fatigue levels due to the depletion of ATCO’s mental and physical resources. A proactive policy of FRM would suggest that breaks should be taken at least every second hour to prevent ATCOs from “burning out”, and switch shift-1 to shift-5 to mitigate the impacts of circadian dysrhythmia.