Fatigue Risk Management Revisited

Fatigue Risk Management Revisited

Dr. Steven HurshWithin our shared aviation community, the force with which we prioritize safety never wanes, and pilot fatigue has especially evolved as a safety hot topic in the last few years.  Earlier in 2012, Navtech announced a new partnership with the Institutes for Behavior Resources, Inc. (IBR) to make Fatigue Risk Management a priority.   The IBR Fatigue Risk Management System is the international ICAO standard and their SAFTE-FAST fatigue risk assessment system will provide an integrated set of analysis tools with Navtech’s Pairing Optimizer and automatic rostering with Navtech’s Preferential Bidding System (PBS).  Combined, these crew scheduling tools provide airlines with advanced fatigue mitigation support for Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS).

IBR is an internationally recognized source for technologies and services to support FRMS.   The organization has a 50-year history as an innovative research, service, and educational organization dedicated to enhancing the growth of the behavioral sciences and their application to human affairs.  IBR services focus on operational risk assessment associated with fatigue and consulting in support of the implementation of fatigue risk management systems, in compliance with FAA guidelines.  IBR specializes in the analysis of scheduling policies and procedures for potential fatigue factors and the collection of sleep and performance data to support a continuous performance improvement process, aided by fatigue assessment tools.  The SAFTE model (Sleep, Activity, Fatigue, and Task Effectiveness) has been validated and is the model of choice used by the US Department of Defense, the US Federal Aviation Administration, and the US Federal Railroad Administration.   The US Department of Defense considers SAFTE-FAST (Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool) to be the most complete, accurate, and operationally practical model currently available.

”Fatigue analysis software provides an important decision aid for forecasting fatigue under scheduling policies and taking proactive steps to reduce or eliminate fatigue before it compromises safety.  The marriage of SAFTE-FAST with Navtech Crew products provides airlines with the best fatigue assessment tools with no additional technical overhead and 24/7 software support,” said Dr. Steven Hursh Ph.D., IBR President and Chairman, pictured above.

Dr. Hursh directs research and application efforts on human performance and fatigue.   Dr. Hursh’s leadership of IBR builds on a distinguished career both as a behavioral researcher and research manager, including 23 years of experience as a scientist in the US Army.    Dr. Hursh is also the technical leader modeling the relationship between sleep deprivation and performance.   Dr. Hursh earned his B.A. in Psychology from Wake Forest University and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of California, San Diego.   Over his 35 years in research, Steve has authored or coauthored over 65 publications and served as associate editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

Navtech’s Crew Planning products are known for their ability to balance the needs of Crews with the goals of airlines by continually evolving to capture technological innovations and the latest in scientific thinking.  Navtech’s goal through the IBR partnership is to help airlines identify and develop their ideal balance between airline efficiency and a fully rested air crew.   IBR’s FRMS model can be used to justify exceptions to specific flight and duty time limitations, which can increase operational flexibility, and it also allows for multiple scenarios to compare and analyze flights for the possibility of fatigue.

“With IBR as a partner, Navtech strengthens its Crew products with a proven and robust Fatigue Risk Management tool.  The IBR system is a natural fit with Navtech’s applications as it will allow airlines to conduct enhanced analysis of key alertness variables for crew planning and scheduling,” said Robert Mora, Director Product Management, Crew Planning.

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