Air Traffic Control


Scheduled napping on the night shift in an Air Traffic Control environment

This project investigated whether a 40-minute nap opportunity on a night shift helped Air Traffic Controllers maintain their performance and remain alert to the end of the shift, which occurred as the last shift in a rapid counterclockwise rotating roster. Although the sleep obtained was relatively short (average 18-minutes) and was of poor quality, it was associated with improved reaction time performance and fewer signs of sleepiness at the end of the night shift. The project formed part of Leigh Signal’s PhD thesis research.

Investigators: Leigh Signal and Philippa Gander

Collaborators: Airways New Zealand

PhD Thesis: Dr Leigh Signal (2002). Scheduled napping on the night shift:consequences for the performance and neurophysiological alertness of air traffic controllers.

Funding: HRC Training Fellowship, HRC Limited budget grant, Airways New Zealand

 Counterclockwise versus clockwise schedules in Air Traffic Control

This study is comparing the sleep, fatigue and workload of Air Traffic Controllers across a counterclockwise schedule (4-days on, 2-days off) to sleep, fatigue and workload across a clockwise schedule (6-days on, 3-days off, 4-days on, 2-days off). Performance on the night shifts in each roster pattern is also being assessed.

Investigators: Leigh Signal, Jennifer Zaslona, Margo van den Berg, Lora Wu and Philippa Gander

Collaborators: Airways New Zealand

Funding: Airways New Zealand




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