Reducing Occupational Stress in Air Traffic Control

Chapter 6: Recommendation and Decision


In this chapter, the research worker has formulated a set of recommendations based on informations found in the determination and analysis chapter in line with the aims of the thesis to assist in cut downing occupational emphasis in air traffic control.

6.1 Bettering occupation planning and dependability of the work systems

Harmonizing to Glovanni Coasta ( 1995 ) , from the past proficient agencies to show support, under full radio detection and ranging coverage of air infinite, is the cardinal factor which allows a “jump in quality” , non merely in footings of work competency, but similarly in footings of emphasis degrees, by diminishing cognitive, memory and communicative tonss along with uncertainness and unforeseeability of the state of affairss. The more technological transition to work under “multi-radar” aid permits an extra rise in degrees of dependability and safety every bit good as a decrease in emphasis degrees.

These betterments allow for good planning of air traffic and, later, a more balanced work load among single ATCs. These betterments may besides later cut down the possibility or the earnestness of many unanticipated state of affairss, by leting for more dependable information and more clip for work outing jobs and doing determinations, while extinguishing many nerve-racking and hazardous traffic extremums.

6.2 Decrease of working times and agreement of working squads and remainder intermissions in relation to the work load

The mental strength required keeping the maximal degree of attending and watchfulness, every bit good as to firmly and expeditiously confronting the responsibility in footings of cognitive and memory burden that can differ normally in relation to air traffic concentration and connected jobs. Therefore, to vouch the best degree of public presentation efficiency avoiding inordinate mental emphasis and weariness, peculiar attending has to be paid to set uping responsibility periods.

Duty periods:

  • The length of the responsibility period should non transcend 10 hours ( extendible to 12 hours in particular fortunes ) , and should be adjusted harmonizing to the work load ;
  • An interval of no less than 12 hours should be scheduled between the decision of one period of responsibility and the beginning of the following period of responsibility ;
  • Overtime should be an exclusion.

Interruptions during operational responsibility:

  • No operational responsibility shall transcend a period of two hours without there being taken, during or at the terminal of that period, a interruption or entire interruption non less than 30 proceedingss ;
  • During periods of high traffic denseness, the possibility of holding more frequent short interruptions ( ten proceedingss ) should be provided ;
  • A sufficiently long interruption for repasts should be allowed, supplying equal canteen installations to guarantee hot and good quality repasts.

6.3 Agreement of displacement agendas harmonizing to psycho-physiological and societal standards

Shift work, in peculiar dark work, is a stress factor for the ATCs due to its negative effects on assorted facets of their lives. This emphasis can be eliminated by following a rapidly-rotating displacement system, altering work displacements every one or two yearss alternatively of every hebdomad. Furthermore, cut downing the figure of back-to-back dark displacements every bit much as possible and holding a day’s remainder after the night-shift period. This prevents accretion of sleep shortage and weariness, and allows a quicker recovery. Delaying the beginning of the forenoon displacement ( e.g. at 07:00 or subsequently ) to let a normal sum of slumber. Prefering the forward rotary motion ( e.g. morning-afternoon-night ) to the backward one ( e.g. afternoon-morning-night ) to let a longer period of remainder between displacements ) . Adjusting the length of displacements harmonizing to the physical and mental work load that is twenty-four hours displacements should be shorter, whereas dark displacements could be longer if the work load is reduced and there are kiping installations.

6.4 Bettering the work environment

  1. Lighting

Taking into consideration that the ATC ‘s undertaking is performed about entirely in forepart of a ocular show unit, peculiar attending should be paid to supplying illuming conditions which favor an optimum ocular public presentation.

Inside the towers, the antonym is the job. It is necessary to avoid inordinate light degrees due to external bright visible radiation utilizing both anti-reflection glass and drapes ; it is besides of import to hold the possibility of positioning and screening the ocular show units to avoid indirect blaze due to bright contemplations on the screen.

  1. Noise

The chief beginnings of noise are represented by conversations, manual operations ( e.g. uses of strip supports ) and office machines ( pressmans, telephones, photocopiers, etc. ) . Therefore peculiar attending has to be paid in order to halt background noise from transcending 45-50 dubnium by put ining quieter office machinery, set uping work sectors in order to hold better sound protection from each other, and put ining more insulating headsets and more sensitive mikes.

6.5 Arranging workplaces harmonizing to ergonomic standards

  1. Workstation design

It is besides of import to set up the layout of the workplace in order to avoid blaze caused by inordinate brightness contrasts between different objects and surfaces ; it causes uncomfortableness and hampers the comprehension of the information. The shows should be shaded and the surfaces matte, avoiding the usage of brooding stuffs and bright colourss on table-tops and consoles. Data shows incorporating flight information should sooner be located beside the radio detection and ranging screen.

  1. Siting positions

A drawn-out, constrained sitting position causes muscular-skeletal uncomfortableness and hurting, peculiarly at the degree of the cervix, the shoulders and the lumbar piece of land. In order to avoid or relieve such perturbations, it is of import to utilize suited chairs which allow a comfy sitting position while working, every bit good as utile musculus relaxation while on stand-by or resting in forepart of the screen.

6.6 Individual ways of get bying with emphasis

First of wholly, people should avoid uneffective ways of header, which can hold an evident short term positive consequence but, in the long tally, can do farther jobs in wellness and wellbeing. We refer in peculiar to smoking. Increasing smoke ( for tobacco users ) is sometimes seen as a manner of obtaining a sense of alleviation and composure. Of class, apart from short-run alleviation, there are many inauspicious effects both on public presentation efficiency, due to interference with the upper nervous system activities, and on wellness, due to increased hazard of lung tumours and chronic bronchitis from smoke.

Second, keeping good physical fittingness and emotionally stable psychic conditions are the best AIDSs in contending and get the better ofing emphasis. To remain in satisfactory status, people should pay peculiar attending to physical exercising, eating wonts, kiping forms, relaxation techniques and leisure activities.

Relaxation techniques are going more and more popular among people who feel to be under emphasis. Massage, yoga, speculation and autogenic preparation are all utile exercisings which help to command restlessness, anxiousness, muscular tenseness, inability to concentrate, insomnia and other symptoms of emphasis.

6.7 Training

The purpose of preparation is at learning occupational and peculiar header schemes in order to better the capacity of event assessment and job resolution, so that ATCs larn how to get by with emotional effects of nerve-racking events and better the capacity of control. Air traffic accountants should be trained to develop action-oriented and problem-focused header abilities. Positive credence and revaluation of emphasis state of affairss, active header, seeking to societal support for instrumental and emotional grounds must be strengthened, while disposition towards restraint header, behavioral and mental detachment should be restricted.

6.8 Decision

Air traffic accountants are the working groups holding to cover with really nerve-racking and tough occupation and are widely recognized as an occupational group which has to get by with a extremely demanding occupation that involves a complex series of undertakings, necessitating high degrees of cognition and expertness, combined with high degrees of duty. Harmonizing to this research, it can be seen that most of air traffic accountants rate the degree of emphasis as extreme.

Furthermore, this degree of emphasis is caused due to several factors such as continuance of interruption that the accountants have, the displacement hours they normally worked and the work load. Stress can be due to conflict originating from workplace and private life besides. Harmonizing to study, 63 % of air traffic accountants have conflict originating from workplace and private life. 50 % of accountants agreed that emphasis is caused due to their nature of the occupation and duties.

Air traffic accountants must be trained to hold high emphasis opposition and must be able to take best determination in hard status and on behalf of the pilot. Training should be given in order to better the capacity of event assessment and job resolution, so that ATCs larn how to get by with emotional effects of nerve-racking events and better the capacity of control. Furthermore, it is of import to hold a emphasis direction system in topographic point in the work topographic point to assist accountants cover with enduring a loss of separation incident or accident.


Professor Glovanni Coasta ( 1995 ) . Occupational emphasis and bar in air traffic control. Institute of Occupational Medicine: University of Verona.


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