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Germany-Cologne: Research Study on ATCO Fatigue
Prior information notice
This notice is for prior information only
Section I: Contracting authority
Section II: Object
Research Study on ATCO Fatigue
EASA is planning to launch a study contract on the impact analysis, prevention and management of air traffic controllers (ATCOs) occupational fatigue. The first objective of the study is to evaluate the implementation of EU regulations on this issue, notably Regulation (EU) 2017/373 adopted on 1 March 2017 and applied as of 2 January 2020, which imposed on air traffic service providers specific requirements linked to ATCOs stress, fatigue and rostering systems, as part of their safety management systems. The second objective is to conduct research in this area with a view to provide guidance and assess the need for a possible further development of the related European rules and practices. Finally, as a third objective, the study will aim at measuring and/or anticipating the possible impact of the introduction of new technologies (such as AI, machine learning, virtual reality, etc.) on the ATCOs occupational fitness. Contract duration (estimated): 12 months.
Objectives of the study:
1. Assessment of the implementation of EU Regulations
The study will aim at assessing how various EU Regulations (in particular articles 40.1 and 48 of EASA Basic Regulation, annex IV of Regulation (EU) 2017/373 in its Sub-Part A Section 3, and Regulation (EU) 2015/340) related to ATCO fatigue have been implemented in the 27 Member States and their ANSPs. The study should assess how EU Regulations related to ATCO fatigue have been implemented by EU ATSPs, which measures and actions have been put in place and how effective and efficient the respective fatigue interventions have been. It should also assess the overall benefits provided by the EU common aviation system and regulations in this domain compared to five years ago. It will finally assess if and how ICAO Doc 9966 ‘Manual for the Oversight of Fatigue Management Approaches’ has been implemented within the EU and include proposal for its further implementation, in consideration of the existing EU regulatory framework;
2. Research action
The study will notably investigate, through existing sources, or where not available, through dedicated research activities, the impact on ATCO fatigue of various parameters, such as the ATCO role, the complexity of the airspace controlled, the volume of traffic and the operational environment, the ATCO demographics (age, gender, experience, etc.), the existence of degraded modes of operations, etc. The study should also investigate principles from fatigue science that could be applied to construct ATC rostering systems and will assess the available safety analysis data on fatigue related occurrences (incidents and accidents).
The study will complement the investigation by a benchmark with other professional domains presenting similar characteristics (such as pilots/flight time limitations) and with one or two non-EU countries having a relevant experience in this field;
3. Measuring and anticipating impact of new technologies and concepts
The study will identify the new technologies that could be ready for deployment in ATM/ANS in the next 10 years and which may affect individual ATCO positions (such as AI, virtual reality, machine learning) and will demonstrate how they could impact the human performance. The study will also assess how the operational requirements linked to the Single-Person-Operation or to the novel concept of remote ATS services could impact fatigue related conclusions arising from the assessment of traditional modes of ATC provision.
Section IV: Procedure
Section VI: Complementary information