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Survey: Three out of four pilots fall asleep during flight |  world

Survey: Three out of four pilots fall asleep during flight | world

Research has found that three out of four pilots fall asleep while flying – Image: Unsplash/Christopher Allison

Three out of four pilots admit to having fallen asleep at least once for a few seconds while flying, according to a survey of 6,900 pilots in 31 European countries from July 1-22.

While a quarter of participants reported experiencing up to five or more such episodes, the majority (73%) complained of not being able to rest properly between flights.

The study, conducted by the European pilots’ association, the European Cockpit Association (ECA), points to “structural deficiencies” in airlines and in the inspection by public authorities with regard to managing the risks associated with burnout for these professionals.

Vivian Rehage, a safety expert at German pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), criticizes that “the safety risks of fatigue are not taken seriously enough by many European airlines”.

Both entities are calling for more oversight from the authorities, particularly in the UK, Ireland, Malta and Spain, the countries whose companies performed worst in the survey. Switzerland, the Netherlands and Austria could have scored better in the study.

Research covered period before the peak of the high season

Presenting the data, the Chefs Association noted that the study inquired about the status of pilots in the four weeks leading up to the interviews – thus covering the period from June to July, just before the peak of the high season – and cautioned that these professionals’ burnout must have worsened at the height of the holiday season, when The number of flights is at its peak.

According to the survey, nearly one in five pilots reported making this decision two or more times recently. In a sign that they are under pressure from airlines, six in ten are afraid to oppose such measures – ordering, for example, that a measure be put in place so that crew changes can be made.

Only 11% of pilots reported changes made by airlines to improve flight safety after they reported fatigue.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had already warned at the end of June of a higher risk of burnout among crew members during the summer and asked airlines to avoid extending pilots’ shifts.