Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Occupational Stress and Stress Management in Air Traffic Control

Rao, Rashida (2019): Occupational Stress and Stress Management in Air Traffic Control.

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Air-Traffic Controllers are responsible for the safe and efficient flow of air traffic throughout the nation's airspace. They navigate the airways, helping pilots pass other planes, find their way through fog and rough weather, and land safely at a busy airport. They coordinate flights to prevent accidents and minimize delays in takeoffs and landings. They can be found working in three basic specialties: Air Traffic Control Towers, En Route Centers, and Flight Service Stations.

In Pakistan this job of air traffic controlling is being done by both military and civil aviation controllers. . The air traffic system in the PAF has come a long way since the old days when using flags for directing the aircraft and placing the gooseneck to light up the runways were a norm. PAF controllers are doing multi task job in air traffic control. Where there is joint user PAF controllers also controlling the civil traffic very effectively.

Main sources of stress for air traffic controllers are demand for high work , operating environment, operations job , working times , working tools and working environment. The psychic (anger, guilt, grief, anxiety) and physical (tachycardia, hypertension, headache, sweating, heartburn, insomnia) reactions cannot only hamper work performance (poor attention and concentration, impaired thinking and memory), but can also give rise to long-term post-traumatic disorders. Consequences of stress on air traffic controller cause short terms effects on: Brain and cardiac activity, Hormonal excretion, Performance efficiency while in long term it effects as: Hypertension, Ischemic heart disease, Diabetes, Peptic ulcers, Psychoneurotic disorders.

An effective strategy aimed at reducing stress should address both the causes and the consequences of stress, thus acting upon all factors involved concerning work organization, as well as the personal resources and social conditions of the controllers. The possibility of making changes and improvements in job demands is determined by Technical factors related to the development of scientific knowledge, Implementing new methods of automation in air traffic control activities, and Specific arrangements of work organization and careful attention to the psycho physiological conditions of ATCs.

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