Dubai Airline

5 / 5. 2

Dubai Airline

Category: Aviation

Subcategory: Business

Level: University

Pages: 11

Words: 3025

Dubai Airport
Author’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
Occupational Fatigue risk management principles and practices adopted by Dubai airline industry and the resulting implications on airport working personnel
One of the major risks that the aviation management personnel in Dubai is fatigue. If fatigue is discussed concerning many other occupations, then it is a non-issue but for industries like aviation that majorly have to guarantee the security of the passengers and other flight operations. Fatigue is a very significant risk that has to be tackled. The aviation employees, from the security personnel, pilots, cabin crews and the flight attendees face fatigue as a result of many causes. The causes can be; long working hours, the unregulated working or duty times, frequent night shifts and the possibility of constant disruptions when sleeping. Pilot fatigue, in particular, can be very disastrous as they have to fly the planes. The pilots have the duty to safely guarantee the passengers that they will arrive at their destinations without any risks. The life of the passengers depends majorly on the pilots. The flight attendants have to be with passengers at all times and make sure the passengers are comfortable. Dubai aviation industry has the engineers who at all times have to look at the planes and other machinery within the aviation industry to guarantee the safety of all employees. The planes, in particular, have to be checked by the engineers before takeoff, and on landing, they are checked to by them to make sure they are in safe working conditions.
Every personnel within the industry has his role to play which if done poorly can affect the safety of many. The security personnel, for example, has to guarantee the safety of every person in the airport and ensure illegal products and terrorists do not pass through. As such, the manner in which they have shifted between them and the hours required to work must be carefully managed to ensure the levels of fatigue are managed. In as much as we tend to undermine the impact of fatigue, those who have less sleep tend to work slowly and are more prone to simple mistakes.
This research proposal seeks to outline the effect of Dubai Airport industry fatigue risk management principles and practices on the performance of the aviation employees in Dubai airports. The paper goes ahead to narrow the impact on the ground handling and security employees. The paper looks at the general practices in the Dubai aviation industry and the emerging trends and rules that have been adopted by the industry players to achieve safety of the airports. The various fatigue management practices are discussed in detail. Lastly, the objectives of the proposal are discussed together with any recommendations that can be adopted by the airports to enhance the management of fatigue among the staff members. In the end, a comparison of two airports in Dubai is done to determine how both airports try to manage the various inefficacies to achieve better service delivery. The paper outlines the basic significant learning outcomes of this research where various issues are discussed.
Literature review
Hobbs and Hiles (2011, 8-10) explain that over the past recent years the aviation industry has adopted some risk management practices that have replaced the older hours of services. He argues that the International Civil Aviation Organization has in recent years been on the forefront in adopting the Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS). The aviation industry today has the continuous monitoring system that monitors all errors at the airport even in the security handling system that can be attributed to Fatigue. Some of the major principles adopted by the system include using the company policies, the system of analysis and risk assessment and the procedures for incident reporting. Also, it applies the principle of cooperation between the employer and the employees to come up with solutions for the fatigue issues like outlining its causes and how they can be remedied.
Lastly, another major principle is the fact that it recognizes that one cannot achieve zero fatigue in the industry but can dedicate efforts to ensure that fatigue in the aviation industry is as low as possible to minimize any likelihood of errors. To achieve the above principles then a high degree of significance is placed on the need for a sound relationship between the employer and the employees. The workplace factors such as the number of working hours, the granted break periods and the levels of staffing are factors that have to be managed at both ends. The employees are also affected by personal factors such as family commitments and being active in other second jobs. It is essential that they have sufficient rest period before going to work. IFA in its official statement states that “Responsibility for the establishment and control of … employees’ duty hours and rest times do not solely rest with the company/ employer. Individuals have a responsibility to make use of the opportunities and facilities for rest periods provided. They are also responsible for planning and using their rest periods properly to minimize incurring fatigue” (Hobbes and Hiles, 2011, 8). Fatigue risk management, therefore, has three major objectives. Its primary objective is to reduce fatigue in the aviation industry. Employees in the Dubai airports thus have to undergo and follow the various risk management practices so as ensure they have low levels of fatigue. Also, the employees have to look at the fatigue-related errors and always capture them to know if they are fatigued.
One of the practices adopted according to Hobbs that can significantly reduce the errors in the implementation of work breaks at the workplace. Another objective is to reduce the impact of an error (Hobbes and Hiles, 2011, 12-15). Like in the case of security handlers in the Dubai airports, they work in such a way that one security officer is not allowed to perform one task over and over again. The officer is reassigned to a different task thus reducing the eventual impact of error that he might have committed by sticking to one task. According to documents leaked in 2016, members of the Dubai airports complain of how they are overworked all above the recommended working hours. This lack of fatigue maintenance by the airports shows how the passengers have been exposed to risk. The Dubai airports which were heavily blamed for the crash of 2016 that killed 62 passengers has been accused of the dangerous schedules (Hopkins, 2016, N.p). The lack of fatigue maintenance from the ground handling personnel and the security personnel resulted in the negative safety reports of the airports. According to the report, the airports had a bomb scare when the plane was at 30.,000ft showing just how much the security personnel has been overwhelmed by poor work schedules hence the errors in the detection of materials that can be a bomb like (Hopkins, 2016, N.p). The degree of the airports pilot fatigue was highlighted in the incident where one of the pilots had forgotten to disengage a planes handbrake when taking off. An example of airport fatigue among the pilots and the flight crew is when they commonly have difficulties when speaking and today a clear example of fatigue among them is when they have a slurred speech. Some of the crashes in the Emirates is alleged to have been caused by fatigue. Airport engineers, for example, have been accused of having a decreasing attention span all thanks to fatigue. The cases where pilots miss the flight path or miss the runways by significant feet’s is a clear example of the effects of fatigue due to lack of sleep or long hours of work.
Elizarbeth et al. argue that scheduling practices that have been adopted by the airport’s industries contribute significantly to the case of fatigue in the normal working hours. According to them, airports today have unique demands that drive the employees to exhaustion. The scheduling practices are most common in all airports. They include having duties on an overnight level where resting time is very limited and a combination of schedules basing on FAR. While the rest time for the flight crew is traditionally 8 hours, the rescheduling of the working hours reduces the resting time to between six to seven hours which is wrong (Elizarbeth et al., 1999, 8-9). The pilots, for example, can have a reduced resting time where before flights they are required to go for the flights earlier than anticipated where upon reaching their destination they can have longer hours of rest which is not recommended (NBAA, 2013, 2). In the Emirates, for example, the security personnel slip in their normal routine actions due to fatigue. Some employees like ground personnel according to studies show signs of short temperedness. This makes them vulnerable to very small pilot mistakes. According to a report by the NBAA, the fatigue can result to aerial safety concerns. According to them, many accidents have been as a result of fatigue-related issues if properly managed then there is less risk.
NBAA tries to look at the basics of sleep and the psychological impact that it has on all employees in the airports. Caldwell et al. (2009, 1-3) take a position on the current fatigue guidelines and how they have been implemented. A study by Caldwell et al. looks at the current fatigue practices and if truly most airports are living up to expectation. According to him much can be done by the agencies in charge of monitoring fatigue. This is why he has come up with a list of recommendations on how fatigue can be handled (Caldwell et al., 2009, 18). He outlines what each department can do to ensure safety. He looks at it from the ground handler’s angle to the security personnel and the pilot. Each should have unique handling to ensure the cases of fatigue have been reduced. He stresses that although each airport is managed differently, they have to follow all the guidelines of fatigue risk management and the practices enshrined according to the internationally set standards. He says that “Each type of aviation operation offers its complexity, whether it be working extended duty days, crossing multiple time zones, sleeping at adverse circadian times, or performing during a circadian nadir. These are just a few examples of the physiologically relevant factors that are unique to every schedule. They are also affected by specific organizational needs”, (Caldwell et al., 2009, 4).
The practices that have been adopted in commonality in almost all airports allow for the rescheduling of shifts backward and forwards. But in doing this, the employees have to be given enough time to rest. The airports allow the employees to operate in shifts at all times. However, according to the guideline set, employees are not supposed to have a scheduled shift of more than 12 hours. The maximum of 12 hours is intended to allow the employees to have maximum time to rest to avoid fatigue. Another guideline set forth says that in the event of an extension of a shift, then the shift period should not be more than 16 hours. Also, another principle involves the scheduled working hours in a week. The total amount of hours required to work should not be more than 76 hours. Also if one is scheduled to work for 12 hours in a night shift, then such schedules should not be more than 4 in a week. The rescheduling of shifts is done basing on the circadian body clock (Hobbes and Hiles, 2011, 38).
The shifts patterns thus result in going for shifts earlier or late than before. The amount of workload that each employee is required to do has a direct impact on his overall performance. A high workload will result in fatigue thus affecting the performance of the employees (ICAO, 2016, 56-58). According to Choon, security personnel in the airports are exposed to a high level of fatigue due to the long hours of work (12 hours). According to him, this has gone unnoticed to many and for a very long time. Studies show that the fatigue sets in after four days stretch of work which takes a toll on most of these officers. He goes ahead to recommend that the airport’s management has to recognize that such employees to are faced with fatigue which affects their work performance (Choon, 2017, N.p). According to (ACRP, 2001, 2) little significance has been given to the ground workers who are affected by accidents due to fatigue. There are no laws written to guide them from excessive workload and long working hours. Little education is given to such employees on the significance of rest. According to studies airport engineers are largely affected by fatigue due to the circadian fatigue. Airport engineers thus have an increased reaction time in their daily duties. Airport engineers thus tend to have a reduced mood and mostly loose memory during their normal work period.
The objectives of the study
The study seeks to establish the various causes of fatigue that Dubai airport employees are exposed to.
The research seeks to explore how the fatigue level in the aviation industry can result in the occurrence of errors and how the errors can affect the safety of the employees and the passengers.
The study seeks to determine the best practices and principles that have been put in place by the aviation industry and how these practices have assisted in the reduction of fatigue among the employees.
The study explores the various principles, measures and practices adopted in the industry and have been implemented globally by all airports to help reduce fatigue cases.
The study explores the role of fatigue management practices in the industry and how they have been implemented to mitigate against the likelihood of risk among the members.
The study also seeks to determine a set of recommendations and changes that can be adopted by the aviation industry to reduce the level of fatigue among the airport employees.
The study also explores the impact of fatigue among the ground handlers and the security personnel in the airport whose roles are on most occasions given little significance in the aviation industry.
The project outcomes
The project will be able to give in-depth analysis and explanation of the various causes of fatigue among the employees and how the fatigue affects them.
The project will be able to paint a picture of the current aviation industry best practices employed in the mitigation of fatigue risks among its employees.
The project will be able to come up with a list of errors that can be attributed to fatigue among the airports workers and how the errors can impact the operation and safety of the airports.
The project, in the end, will determine the various established conventional practices and principles that can soundly be used in the mitigation of airports in Dubai against the risk of fatigue.
The project will determine or establish how the mitigation practices adopted by the airports have impacted the operations of the industry and just how effective they have been.
In the end, the project will develop recommendations to the aviation industry on the changes and rules that can be adapted to further improve the efficiency of airports operations by implementing better fatigue reduction measures.
The project will determine and give an in-depth analysis of how airports ground handlers and the security personnel have been accepted and prove that even these kind of employees have to be monitored for fatigue risk factors. The project will thus prove that most of the errors are committed by such kind of people since little significance is given regarding their schedules.
Why the interest in fatigue among the airport’s operators
I have given specific significance to the impact of fatigue principles and practices among airports operators due to the risk of errors involved if such workers are fatigued. If it were a different industry, then I would give little significance, but every person in the aviation industry has to be alert to guarantee the safety of many. This is why my research will also narrow down to the ground handlers and the security whose levels of fatigue if high can result in serious accidents and errors in operation.
Key questions
The research paper seeks to answer the following the questions;
What are the causes of fatigue among the airport employees such as pilots and engineers?
How does high fatigue levels in the airports result in errors among ground and security personnel?
How do fatigue errors affect the safety of the employees and the passengers?
What practices and principles have the Dubai aviation industry adopted to mitigate fatigue risk against pilots and airport Engineers?
Which of these principles have also been implemented globally and how are they successful?
How have these fatigue management practices impacted the Dubai aviation industry pilots and engineers?
What recommendations and changes can you propose to improve the efficiency of the current measures for pilots and ground personnel?
What exactly is the impact of fatigue on ground handlers and the security personnel?
What measures are there to protect these two groups from fatigue?
Research methodology
The dissertation will majorly depend on the ethnographic study. The research methodology will mainly follow Gilbert’s perfect definition of ethnography. It states, “The techniques are likely to include interviews (usually more like a conversation than a standardized interview …), the analysis of documents, direct observation of events and some effort to think oneself into the perspective of the members, the introspective, empathetic process Weber called ëverstehen”. This will form the bulk of the primary data to be used in the study. The technique thus stresses the need to rely more on first-hand information that can give a clear picture of what is going at the airports and if the airports have implemented the manuals used in the mitigation of fatigue. First, the data will be obtained via observation to get the exact extent and impact of fatigue. Observation will be used to see the signs and the effects of employee fatigue. Through observation, the exact situation of what is going on at the airports s can be visualized for sound judgment to be made. In case of any errors being committed by them, then via observation, it will be revealed and even the degree of such errors.
Direct face to face interviews will also be a good way of determining if the employees are faced with any fatigue cases. The interviews will be held in confidentiality where each employee on the ground and the security personnel will explain if the practices that have been implemented affect there sleeping hours and also capture their incidences of errors due to lack of sleep. The interviews will reveal if airports have provided the manual on fatigue management and adopted rules concerning the protection of security personnel and ramps from fatigue. They will give their own opinion if such rules are protective and if the level of significance given to the pilots and the flight attendees is also extended to them. There is also the documentation of the employee activities. In particular, the security personnel and the ground handlers will have clear documentation of their daily activities from signing in, recording the voice calls, the handling of luggage and any other physical activities to the final briefs and shifts. The move will assist to record the exact time the employees work and the rest time they are accorded. The documentation thus gives an insight on whether the rescheduling practices and the workload given are according to the set rules and practices. The primary data gives the employees the voice and control of what is being researched on.
Another primary data collection methodology will be the use of a retrospective survey where it will focus on the analysis of fatigue factors in their operations. The survey will focus on the scheduling practices, general demographic information, the environment at work, perceptions about risk and work experiences. The survey also seeks to determine if the employees are engaged in any other jobs from the airports. The secondary data for the survey will be obtained from recent studies conducted about airports fatigue impacts and the practices adopted to reduce fatigue. The secondary data also include published books on how fatigue can be reduced.
ACRP (2015). Fatigue Management for Ramp Workers. [Ebook] Available at: [Accessed 14 May 2018].
Caldwell, J., Mallis, M., Paul, M., Miller, J. and Neri, D. (2009). Fatigue Countermeasures in Aviation. 80th ed. [ebook] the Aerospace Medical Association Fatigue Countermeasures Subcommittee of the Aerospace Human Factors Committee. Available at: [Accessed 14 May 2018].
Choon, K. (2017). Ensure aviation security staff aren’t affected by fatigue. [Online] The Straits Times. Available at: [Accessed 14 May 2018].
Hopkins, N. (2016). Airline pilots complain of dangerous fatigue in leaked documents. [Online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 16 May 2018].
ICAO (2016). Manual fortheOversight of FatigueManagementApproaches. [Ebook] Available at: [Accessed 14 May 2018].
Elizarbeth, Greggory, K., Johnson, J. and Rosekind, M. (1999). Crew Factors in Flight Operations Xh A Survey of Fatigue Factors in Regional Airports Operations. [Ebook] NASA. Available at: [Accessed 14 May 2018].
Hobbes, A. and Hiles, J. (2011). Fatigue Risk Management in Aviation Maintenance: Current Best Practices and Potential Future Countermeasures. [Ebook] Federal Aviation Administration. Available at: [Accessed 14 May 2018].
NBAA (2013). Fatigue awareness in flight operations. [Ebook] Available at: [Accessed 14 May 2018].
Survey questions
Kindly answer the questions as accurately as you can. Describe if possible.
1. Gender?
2. Age?
3. Weight?
4. Height? Ft. in
5. Which is your time zone?
6. In what time zone do you currently live?
7. How does it take you to reach your place of work?
8. What is your mode of transportation?
9. Do you have any other job?10. If yes then how long does it take to finish the other job?
B. Sleep time
11. How many nights of sleep do you have?
12. If you in off-duty what time do you go to bed?
13. When in off-duty how long does it take for you to go to bed?
14. What is the number of times do you wake when at home?
15. What makes you awake when at home?
16. How long does it take for you to go back to bed?
17. Do you encounter any sleeping problems?
18. What is the sleep problem?
19. Does it affect your sleeping schedule?
C. Please rate the following factors and indicate how much they affect your sleep quality
a) Wet seasons [ ]
b) Heat [ ]
c) Mind thoughts [ ]
d) Coldness [ ]
e) Noise events []
f) Noise []
g) Background lighting []
h) Sleep readiness []
I) comfort of what you have []
j) Humidity []
k) High humidity []
D. Work information
How many total flight hours, security work, or ground roles do you have?
How many hours of work have you had?
What certificates do you have?
What is your standard working hours?
What is the number of firms that you have worked for?
Name the airlines you have worked for
How long have you worked in your current job?
As a flight deck, what is your current position?
What’s your number of duty days in a month?
What are your monthly scheduled work duty days?
If you are a pilot then what are your daily fly segments?
How long have you exceeded the normal eight days working hours?
How long does it take for your airline to adjust work schedules?
How long is your duty days?
How long have you taken in duty work in your opinion?
How often do you have work extensions?
E. Work fatigue
Which are your worst work days?
How often does fatigue occur at your workplace? (Describe)?
How does fatigue concern you?
What safety concerns occur during fatigue?
How significant are these safety concerns?
How does fatigue affect your performance?
Which part is more affected by the fatigue?
What strategies do you use to handle fatigue?
Kindly recommend the changes you would make the current strategies?
Describe the mistakes you have made because of fatigue.

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