EUROCONTROL Participating in Fatigue/Stress Research

During June 6-9, a validation study on stress and attention in air traffic control was performed at Anadolu University. The data will be the main input for the preparation of guidelines for future air traffic control systems design, with a focus on automation.

EUROCONTROL, the agency that manages air traffic control operations throughout Europe, is participating in a project monitoring fatigue and stress of workers who perform air traffic control tasks. EUROCONTROL said it brings its extensive experience in applying Human Performance analysis and assessing stress and fatigue management to Horizon 2020's STRESS project validation study on stress and attention in air traffic management.

STRESS stands for human performance neurometricS Toolbox foR highly automatEd Systems deSign and is a Horizon 2020 project in the framework of the SESAR Research and Innovation Action. The project began this month and will finish in June 2018, with EUROCONTROL's Safety Unit working alongside project partners Deep Blue, the project coordinator and an Italian research and consultancy specializing in human factors, safety, validation and scientific dissemination; Sapienza University of Rome, which has expertise in the measurement and analysis of neurophysiological signals and definition of indexes of human mental states and cognitive performance; the Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile, the French National School for Civil Aviation; and Anadolu University.

During June 6-9, a validation study on stress and attention in Air Traffic Control was performed at Anadolu University to validate neurophysiological indexes developed by the project that monitor air traffic controllers' mental states in real time as they perform classic air traffic control tasks. The study investigated two of the most impacted human factors: the stress level and the type and level of attentional focus.

The data will be analyzed in the coming months to validate the project hypothesis. In the next phase, STRESS will use the validated indices to assess the air traffic controllers' performance in high automation scenarios. The outcome will be the main input for the preparation of guidelines for future ATC systems design, with a focus on automation.

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