|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Locale Reference||atc facility : dtw|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Primary Problem||ATC Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
|ATC Facility||procedure or policy : unspecified|
The FAA facility management handbook (7210.3H), in paragraph 240C(3) states that air traffic controllers must 'have an off duty period of at least 8 hours between watches'. I believe this was intended as a minimum when unusual situations warrant, etc. However, the FAA regularly schedules 8 hours between shifts. It is routine to work an afternoon-day-mid! Let me clarify. For example, work an afternoon shift on monday getting off at 11 pm monday night (get a few hours sleep), and back to work at 7 am tue getting off at 3 pm tue (get a few hours sleep), and back to work at 11 pm tue night. In a span of only 40 hours 3 shifts were worked. This is a job where alertness is paramount. After very little rest in 2 days, controllers fall asleep on midnight shifts. The scary part is that they fall asleep involuntarily. They can't help it! Don't trust or believe any contradictions the FAA may have concerning this. I see it every week. Work, nap, work, nap, work is not safe. I truly hope you get the picture I'm trying to paint here and can initiate some corrective remedies. Thanks. Have to go. I'm really tired.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: LACK OF REST IMPACTS REPORTER'S WORK PERFORMANCE. HE ATTRIBUTES THIS TO WORK SCHEDULING.
Narrative: THE FAA FAC MGMNT HANDBOOK (7210.3H), IN PARAGRAPH 240C(3) STATES THAT AIR TFC CTLRS MUST 'HAVE AN OFF DUTY PERIOD OF AT LEAST 8 HRS BETWEEN WATCHES'. I BELIEVE THIS WAS INTENDED AS A MINIMUM WHEN UNUSUAL SITUATIONS WARRANT, ETC. HOWEVER, THE FAA REGULARLY SCHEDULES 8 HRS BETWEEN SHIFTS. IT IS ROUTINE TO WORK AN AFTERNOON-DAY-MID! LET ME CLARIFY. FOR EXAMPLE, WORK AN AFTERNOON SHIFT ON MONDAY GETTING OFF AT 11 PM MONDAY NIGHT (GET A FEW HOURS SLEEP), AND BACK TO WORK AT 7 AM TUE GETTING OFF AT 3 PM TUE (GET A FEW HOURS SLEEP), AND BACK TO WORK AT 11 PM TUE NIGHT. IN A SPAN OF ONLY 40 HOURS 3 SHIFTS WERE WORKED. THIS IS A JOB WHERE ALERTNESS IS PARAMOUNT. AFTER VERY LITTLE REST IN 2 DAYS, CTLRS FALL ASLEEP ON MIDNIGHT SHIFTS. THE SCARY PART IS THAT THEY FALL ASLEEP INVOLUNTARILY. THEY CAN'T HELP IT! DON'T TRUST OR BELIEVE ANY CONTRADICTIONS THE FAA MAY HAVE CONCERNING THIS. I SEE IT EVERY WEEK. WORK, NAP, WORK, NAP, WORK IS NOT SAFE. I TRULY HOPE YOU GET THE PICTURE I'M TRYING TO PAINT HERE AND CAN INITIATE SOME CORRECTIVE REMEDIES. THANKS. HAVE TO GO. I'M REALLY TIRED.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.