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Research Library

Psychophysiological Coherence Training to Moderate Air Traffic Controllers' Fatigue on Rotating Roster

    • Published: 2022
    • Wen-Chin Li1, Jingyi Zhang1, and Peter Kearney2
    • © 2022 The Authors. Risk Analysis published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Risk Analysis.1. Safety and Accident Investigation Centre, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, UK. 2. Irish Aviation Authority, Dublin, Ireland.
    • Download the complete paper, click here.


The nature of the current rotating roster, providing 24-h air traffic services over five irregular shifts, leads to accumulated fatigue which impairs air traffic controllers’ cognitive function and task performance. It is imperative to develop an effective fatigue risk management system to improve aviation safety based upon scientific approaches.

Two empirical studies were conducted to address this issue. Study 1 investigated the mixed effect of circadian rhythm disorders and resource depletion on controllers’ accumulated fatigue. Then, study 2 proposed a potential biofeedback solution of quick coherence technique which can mitigate air traffic controllers’ (ATCOs’) fatigue while on controller working position and improve ATCOs’ mental/physical health.

The current two-studies demonstrated a scientific approach to fatigue analysis and fatigue risk mitigation in the air traffic services domain. This research offers insights into the fluctuation of ATCO fatigue levels and the influence of a numbers of factors related to circadian rhythm and resource depletion impact on fatigue levels on study 1; and provides psychophysiological coherence training to increase ATCOs’ fatigue resilience to mitigate negative impacts of fatigue on study 2.