The application of an alertness model to ultra-long-range civil air operations

Spencer, Michael B.; Robertson, Karen A.
August 2007
Somnologie;Aug2007, Vol. 11 Issue 3, p159
Academic Journal
The computer model SAFE (System for Aircrew Fatigue Evaluation) was used as part of a procedure for evaluating the crewing requirements for the new generation of ultra-long-range-aircraft. The specific requirement was to establish guidelines for the Singapore–Los Angeles–Singapore route before the aircraft came into service. The work was carried out in three phases. In Phase I, predictions of levels of alertness for a crew of four were obtained using a range of assumptions related to the timing of duty and the allocation of rest. Phase II was a validation study based on current operations. In Phase III, initial flights with the new aircraft were monitored and alertness levels were compared with the predictions. The predictions in Phase I suggested that levels of fatigue on the operations would remain below those in many existing operations, as long as all crews were allowed two inflight rest periods. The validation study gave general support to the model predictions, and these were confirmed by the initial reports from the new operation. This work demonstrates that an alertness model can play a useful role in the assessment of the acceptability of future operations.


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