University study to scrutinize the home lives of commercial pilots

University study to scrutinize the home lives of commercial pilots

Sociologists at the University ofLeicester are to conduct a pioneering first in-depth study of pilots’ homelives in the hope of improving airline safety. The University’s Civil Safetyand Security Unit has been commissioned by the British Air Line PilotsAssociation (BALPA) to research the lifestyle of the modern commercial airlinepilot. The research will investigate pilot’s lifestyle, work and home lives ina breadth and depth that will be a first for the airline industry. The workwill be used to inform European guidelines on flight-time for commercialpilots. “Several studies have been made of life on the flight deck,” said DrSimon Bennett, who has been investigating pilot lifestyles for more than tenyears. “However, no studies have been made of the relationship between apilot’s working and home life. Clearly the two domains interact. The USNational Academy of Sciences (NAS) has been asked to investigate pilot commutesin the USA. We have the same issue in Europe, yet no-one is investigating it.” Commencingin November 2010 and concluding in May 2011, it will produce a 30,000 wordreport which BALPA will use to critique current flight and duty-timelimitations. “The research reflects the Government’s interest in the work-lifebalance,” continued Bennett. “The effective management of stress and fatiguerequires that all potential stressors are identified. Stressed and fatiguedpilots are less effective than relaxed and well-rested pilots.”

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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