University study to scrutinise the home lives of commercial pilots

University study to scrutinise the home lives of commercial pilots

Sociologists at the University of Leicester are to conduct a pioneering first in-depth study of pilots’ home lives in the hope of improving airline safety. The University’s Civil Safety and Security Unit has been commissioned by the British Air Line Pilots Association (BALPA) to research the lifestyle of the modern commercial airline pilot. The research will investigate pilot’s lifestyle, work and home lives in a breadth and depth that will be a first for the airline industry. The work will be used to inform European guidelines on flight-time for commercial pilots. “Several studies have been made of life on the flight deck,” said Dr Simon Bennett, who has been investigating pilot lifestyles for more than ten years. “However, no studies have been made of the relationship between a pilot’s working and home life. Clearly the two domains interact. The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has been asked to investigate pilot commutes in the USA. We have the same issue in Europe, yet no-one is investigating it.” Commencing in November 2010 and concluding in May 2011, it will produce a 30,000 word report which BALPA will use to critique current flight and duty-time limitations. “The research reflects the Government’s interest in the work-life balance,” continued Bennett. “The effective management of stress and fatigue requires that all potential stressors are identified. Stressed and fatigued pilots are less effective than relaxed and well-rested pilots.”

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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