Flight Attendant Fatigue, Part 1: National Duty, Rest, and Fatigue Survey
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OKLAHOMA CITY OK CIVIL AEROSPACE MEDICAL INST
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Todays aviation industry is a 247 operation that produces a variety of challenges for cabin crew members including extended duty periods, highly variable schedules, frequent time zone changes, and increased passenger loads. While these operational requirements may be necessary, they are far from ideal with respect to the human bodys biological rhythms for managing sleep and alertness. In fact, acute sleep loss, sustained periods of wakefulness, and circadian factors resulting from this form of misalignment all contribute to fatigue and fatigue-related mishaps Caldwell, 2005 Rosekind et al., 1996. This survey study was conducted to identify the specific operational factors that may contribute to fatigue in cabin crew operations. A retrospective survey was disseminated to flight attendants representing 30 operators regional 17, low-cost 7, and network 6. The survey addressed 7 main topics work background, workload and duty time, sleep, health, fatigue, work environment, and general demographics. Participants were 9,180 cabin crew members who voluntarily and anonymously completed the survey and met the criteria to be included in the report i.e., active flight attendant that had flown the previous bid period with their current airline. This report outlines the results of this survey and provides specific recommendations regarding fatigue issues in cabin crew operations.
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