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Night shifts - air traffic control

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  • bsd13
    replied
    Good to see they're considering doing something else aside from just telling people to stay awake. This kind of common sense should have been exercised years ago.

    The National Transportation Safety Board hopes air traffic controllers may soon benefit from long-standing research into worker fatigue by implementing strategies that include intentional sleeping on the job, the use of caffeine and other methods shown by science to deal with the overnight shift.

    "A controlled nap can boost performance significantly," said NTSB board member Mark Rosekind at a briefing with reporters Monday at agency headquarters. Citing a 1995 study from NASA that has been backed by other research, he said, "A 26-minute nap improved performance 34% and alertness 54%."

    The study prompted an advisory that has been adopted by some international air carriers to keep pilots more alert in the cockpit. The measures were not moved forward by the Federal Aviation Administration.

    Congressional lawmakers may soon consider legislation reauthorizing the FAA that includes provisions addressing the problem of fatigue. The NTSB's recommendations Monday followed a listening tour of air traffic controllers around the country. The board's advice is issued to federal and other agencies.
    Rest of article

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  • Bounce
    replied
    It works that way in the fed often too. Nights fill with volunteers, seniority gets first dibs on which shifts, etc. 1 slot left on grave? everyone on days rotates in every x days to fill the slot. 2 slots? 3? more people rotate at a time to fill the slots.

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  • kingsman
    replied
    Our union and management work together with our contract. We bid shifts by seniority every six months. Needs change, people need to try other shifts. Or you just have to work your way up thru the seniority. Some people like midnights, some people like other shifts.

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  • Dingo990
    replied
    Originally posted by ProtectandServe View Post
    Sounds like those officers picked a bad spot to do their reports if you could walk up on them.
    The only place we have the ability to type reports is the squad bay

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  • Bounce
    replied
    set schedules are only possible for people volunteering for evening shifts (in accordance with the negotiated contracts). that means if swing and grave fully staff with volunteers then everyone can stay put. if someone chooses to move out of permanent nights (or staffing isn't completely addressed with volunteers for permanent swing/grave) then that means everyone has to go into rotation to fill the remaining slots. no one can volunteer for permanent days if the job is a 24/7 job.

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  • kingsman
    replied
    Geez o pete, this is the 21st century, not the middle ages.

    We understand that the human body is not designed to handle split shifts and moving from shift to shift. It causes stress, stress causes weight gain, both put strain on the heart.

    What is wrong with working a straight 8 hour shift, day in day out? Thats what I do, thats what I did in Customs. Mandatory overtime, it happens, voluntary overtime as well.

    But we all need a set sleep schedule. It may change from time to time based on necessity, but to make it mandatory is stupid. Just because your supervisor had to do it in his day because his supervisor had to do it in his day...

    Every officer, Every ATC, ANYBODY who works a stressful job needs to be able to have a set work schedule so they can get sufficient sleep. They also need to be able to take a power nap from time to time.

    Oh, believe me, I have had to do it. Don't want to pay for it? Fine, make them clock out for their lunch and take a 30 minute nap.

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  • ProtectandServe
    replied
    Originally posted by Dingo990 View Post
    Yes, cops work jacked up shifts also.

    And cops will catch a quick nap on the job... maybe not intentionally, but I've walked by many officers typing up a report and watched them nod off for a minute or two.
    Sounds like those officers picked a bad spot to do their reports if you could walk up on them.

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  • Bounce
    replied
    Originally posted by TheKansan View Post
    No one complains that an IT specialist or network administrator for the feds gets GS-13 or GS-14 pay.
    that's because, in spite of all the formal training and education it takes to get to a GS14 in IT, it still pays HALF of what an ATC gets with a HS diploma and a year of specialized training... and an IT person who can no longer do the job they hired in for has 2 years of "save pay" to find a job of equal pay or gets cut to the pay of the job they land in. Meanwhile ATCs who haven't/won't certify for 15 years and more are still sucking down $120k a year to fill coke machines and file paperwork.

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  • Rudy8116
    replied
    Unless I overlooked, it, that was never mentioned. Maybe that should be something brought up with their boss.

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  • bsd13
    replied
    Originally posted by tc215 View Post
    What's a load of bull?

    I guess they could have an FM radio going in the background to help stay awake...No, wait, that's not allowed anymore. Maybe a crossword puzzle...No, that's not ok either. Maybe a TV? No, can't do that. No more cell phones on the floor, either.

    You can't do anything else other than stare at the scope. But I'm sure you knew that.
    I think what Rudy is getting at is that you stay awake even if the only thing you can do is to chew on your tongue and slap yourself in the face...

    Because that's how we do it in America!! Nose to the grindstone, pull up your bootstraps, buckle down and git-r-done!

    Which is absurd, but that's often the prevailing mindset when it comes to Americans and work. We'd be a lot better off if we took a page from the Spanish and the Italians and started having afternoon siestas (assuming that's still practiced over there)

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  • tc215
    replied
    Originally posted by Rudy8116 View Post
    That's a load of bull. You FIND a way to stay awake.
    What's a load of bull?

    I guess they could have an FM radio going in the background to help stay awake...No, wait, that's not allowed anymore. Maybe a crossword puzzle...No, that's not ok either. Maybe a TV? No, can't do that. No more cell phones on the floor, either.

    You can't do anything else other than stare at the scope. But I'm sure you knew that.

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  • Rudy8116
    replied
    Originally posted by tc215 View Post
    Your body doesn't care how much money you make. I'm not sure if they still do this, but when I worked for the FAA, they were big on mandatory overtime, but they would do it in split shifts. i.e., come in and work for a few hours, go home for a few hours, come back in and work a few more hours. Couple that with the goofy schedule, and you have a recipe for disaster.

    EDIT: Not trying to stick up or make excuses for anyone sleeping on the job...But there are some people making judgements when they have zero knowledge of the job...Sound familiar?
    That's a load of bull. You FIND a way to stay awake.

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  • Bearcat357
    replied
    Originally posted by FireCop604 View Post
    I understand but our brass realizes the points previously made here by others regarding the negative impact on performance and on the individual working goofy night hours. It works for us. When it is slow one or two out of the five or six working crash out for a few hours. If it begins to get busy they get up and and cover their original spots. There has NEVER been an operational problem related to this policy.

    Now if someone were to fall asleep at their station and miss radio traffic or 911 calls, that's an entirely different story...
    Like I said, must be nice.... It would never, ever happen back home...... even in the smaller places I worked where you don't hear radio traffic for 2-3 hours coming from patrols or dispatch. It just the way it is back there.....

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  • FireCop604
    replied
    Originally posted by Bearcat357 View Post
    Must be nice..... Everywhere I've been associated as a LEO they'd be fired on the spot for napping on the job........

    I've seen Supervisors/Sheriffs/Chiefs fire folks for doing it.....and have fired folks myself for doing it.....
    I understand but our brass realizes the points previously made here by others regarding the negative impact on performance and on the individual working goofy night hours. It works for us. When it is slow one or two out of the five or six working crash out for a few hours. If it begins to get busy they get up and and cover their original spots. There has NEVER been an operational problem related to this policy.

    Now if someone were to fall asleep at their station and miss radio traffic or 911 calls, that's an entirely different story...

    Leave a comment:


  • MD11pilot
    replied
    he only thing I've flown was an old Cessna. So I have a question for modern planes pilots.. Inside your cockpit do you have any radar to see range and elv of nearby planes? I know the ATC controls your placement but if they make a mistake do you have a radar or at the very least a warning light
    Aircraft that have at least 10 seats are required to carry a basic form of TCAS (does not tell the pilot to climb or descend to avoid a collision) while aircraft with 30+ seats have to carry the more advanced TCAS II (which does what TCAS I does not). TCAS stands for Traffic Collision Avoidance System and it is not a radar but what it does is pickup transponder signals from other aircraft and then display the aircraft's position and altitude relative to your aircraft so if the other plane plane does not have a working transponder TCAS will not pick it up on your plane.

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