Safety Climate Assessment: The Implementation of Psychological Fatigue Indicators in Airline Fatigue Risk Management Systems

Dimitrios Ziakkas, Spyridon Chazapis, Anastasios Plioutsias

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In commercial aviation, safety is of paramount importance and an indispensable prerequisite for building extensive, dependable air transportation networks. Several aspects affect airline safety, from training to operations and organizational conditions. The critical importance of aircrew fatigue has long been identified; in 2016, nearly 20% of all accidents under investigation by the US NTSB had it listed as one of the probable causes or contributing factors. This study aims to evaluate the utility of adding psychological fatigue elements to the fatigue self-report and survey tools currently used by airlines. Research goals include identifying psychological fatigue markers in airline fatigue survey forms, analyzing these instruments to determine their sensitivity in identifying fatigue that is not exclusively attributed to physiological factors, and investigating potential improvements of these instruments for use in commercial aviation. The authors examined the effect of psychological and physiological fatigue factors on the aviation industry's overall state and dynamics, especially given the consequences of the recent pandemic. Analysis indicates that incorporating psychological items to existing fatigue reporting and survey instruments significantly changes the measured fatigue levels, suggesting that measuring physiological fatigue alone may not be sufficient to accurately determine overall fatigue levels. The proposed implementation of psychological Fatigue Indicators identifies critical and significant risks related to the current Fatigue Risk Management System, especially in atypical periods when the aviation industry is experiencing substantial disruptions and psychological fatigue is prevalent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-39
Number of pages14
JournalTransportation Research Procedia
Early online date9 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2022
Event34th Conference of the European Association for Aviation Psychology - Sunborn Gibraltar, Gibraltar, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Sept 202230 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors. Published by ELSEVIER B.V.
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the 34th Conference of the European Association for Aviation


  • Fatigue
  • Fatigue Risk Management Systems;
  • Safety Management Systems
  • Aviation Safety;
  • Physiological Fatigue
  • Psychological Fatigue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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