NATCA Calls On FAA To Implement Fatigue Rules

Discussion in 'Blogstand' started by sobore, Apr 26, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gene...NATCA Calls On FAA To Implement Fatigue Rules

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is calling on FAA’s Randy Babbitt to address fatigue among its members with recommendations it says previous administrators avoided.
    Union President Paul Rinaldi, while applauding the agency’s recent decision to eliminate single staffing on midnight shifts, says all current measures to resolve a series of highly publicized incidents involving sleeping controllers “barely scratch the surface of the problem.
     
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  2. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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    I'm not exactly sure what "controlled naps" are, but I was surprised to read that napping on your meal break was a fireable offense. I don't work a stressful job, or have horrible hours, but there are times that I want/need a nap during my lunch break, and will take one (setting a timer to make sure I'm back at my desk on time, of course.)
     
  3. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    People are usually groggy or at least not fully alert for the first 30-60 minutes after waking up. If you take a nap for 15 minutes, that's not an issue, but being groggy for the next hour while you're on the job could be an issue. This is why I try at all costs to avoid naps, because it always means being out of commission for twice as long as the nap itself.

    If you're just sitting at a desk, being groggy isn't so bad, but it is if you're an air traffic controller.
     
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  4. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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    to clarify... if you're an AT controller in the US, this is a problem. For some reason, other countries don't seem to have this problem (or at least, as I've read through various news channels.) Mrs. misman was telling me that in, I think, Japan, they have "nap rooms" for their controllers with scheduled nap times. Interesting concept...
     
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  5. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    And I think scheduled naps, with some time afterward (maybe 15 min at least) to become alert again would be a good idea. However, I would take issue if ATC were taking 15 minute naps during their coffee breaks.

    I don't think the US gov't is entirely opposed to this idea of scheduling nap time for ATC. My understanding from the news reports is that the ATC union wants to get paid while they're napping, but that the reason for them napping in the first place is that they're volunteering for these weird schedules that involve squeezing in day time and night time shifts in order to get a longer weekend. IMO, if you are taking a crazy schedule to get more time off, and that crazy schedule makes you drowsy on the job so that you require a nap, then the gov't shouldn't have to pay for your nap time. But if you want to take a crazy schedule and you agree as part of it to take some non-paid nap time, then that would be a good compromise. The one night shift a week might be 10 hours at the office for an actual 8 hours paid + 2 hours nap, but you still get a long weekend.

    The system might work better if people had to sign up for a whole week of day shifts or night shifts so they could adjust their sleeping patterns to whatever they're working that week. Of course, then they wouldn't get a long weekend anymore...
     

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