Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pilot fatigue is threat to safety: Expert criticizes European proposals to relax flight-time limits

Date:
January 3, 2013
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
This year the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will agree new flight-time limitations (FTLs) for pilots. Many consider EASA's proposal to relax FTLs a threat to safety.

This year the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will agree new flight-time limitations (FTLs) for pilots. Many consider EASA's proposal to relax FTLs a threat to safety.

Britain's FTLs are amongst the most stringent. Nevertheless, research published by Dr Simon Bennett of the University of Leicester's Civil Safety and Security Unit in the Institute of Lifelong Learning shows that pilots can find themselves flying an aircraft many hours after waking. Over 20% of Dr Bennett's respondents said that by the time they completed their shift they had been awake for 28 hours or more.

Dr Bennett said, "Research proves that judgment is seriously impaired after eighteen hours of wakefulness. How well do you think you could drive after being awake for eighteen hours?

"FTLs take no account of the pilot lifestyle. No account is taken of prior wakefulness, the duration and quality of sleep or commuting. FTLs are dissociated from the realities of life -- despite the fact that those realities affect performance. Nearly 50% of respondents took over 60 minutes to commute to work."

FTLs stand apart from what Dr Bennett calls 'lived reality'. He adds, "Regulators (and lawmakers) take no interest in the world beyond the crew room and flight-deck. When pressed they retort, 'We have no knowledge of any rule violations'. Violations are not the issue. The issue is the fidelity of FTLs. Those who represent the industry remain aloof. 'Flying time is a matter for the UK Authorities and it is up to them to specify the measures which are appropriate' says the British Air Transport Association.

"The aviation industry is volatile. In debt due to training fees, novice pilots struggle to make ends meet. Properties in airport catchments are expensive. Hard-up pilots find themselves commuting long distances. Long commutes add to the fatigue generated by flying multiple trips through congested airspace. The new regulations must take account of the fatigue-inducing aspects of life beyond the airport perimeter.

"Regulations made without reference to scientific knowledge or social context are dangerous. EASA's proposed FTLs take little account of the latest sleep research and no account of the pilot lifestyle as described in my own research. Passenger safety is threatened. Those who work at the coal-face of aviation deserve better."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Pilot fatigue is threat to safety: Expert criticizes European proposals to relax flight-time limits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130103073242.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2013, January 3). Pilot fatigue is threat to safety: Expert criticizes European proposals to relax flight-time limits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130103073242.htm
University of Leicester. "Pilot fatigue is threat to safety: Expert criticizes European proposals to relax flight-time limits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130103073242.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Will New FCC Rules Trigger Death Of Net Neutrality?

Will New FCC Rules Trigger Death Of Net Neutrality?

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Federal Communications Commission will reportedly propose new rules for Net neutrality that could undermine the principles of a free and open Web. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) President Obama briefly played soccer with a robot during his visit to Japan on Thursday. The President has been emphasizing technology along with security concerns during his visit. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins