GURUGRAM- India’s largest domestic carrier, IndiGo Airlines (6E) pilots, are set to adopt a wrist device and utilize a ground-based tool for fatigue detection, assessing their pre- and post-flight alertness levels.
In partnership with the French aerospace conglomerate Thales Group, the airline is embarking on this initiative to gather data and leverage it in designing flight schedules and rosters that minimize pilot fatigue.
IndiGo Pilots to Tackle Fatigue
The internal memo reviewed by ET reveals that the airline plans to enlist the expertise of a sleep researcher to enhance its fatigue management system.
Following six years of intensive research, they have successfully developed a fatigue detection model that offers comprehensive insights into demographic data.
This encompasses various factors such as flight routes, crew pairings, and crew profiles, surpassing the capabilities of traditional scheduling models.
Ashim Mitra, the Senior Vice President of Flight Operations, has communicated to the pilots that IndiGo intends to initiate a proof-of-concept trial for their technology-driven interface aimed at assessing pilot alertness levels in the coming months.
Upon completion of this trial, they will collaboratively assess the effectiveness and accuracy of the collected data.
It’s noteworthy, however, that IndiGo will maintain the existing system, allowing pilots to request relief from duty if they feel fatigued.
Initially, the ground devices will be set up at large bases of IndiGo like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai, where pilots will undergo a five-minute test. “This initiative positions us at the forefront of airline safety and innovation, setting an industry standard.
It also underscores our commitment to our pilots’ well-being, ensuring their health, mental well-being, and job satisfaction, ultimately enhancing passenger safety,” Mitra said.
Recent Pilots Death Incident
The move by IndiGo comes after one of the airline’s pilots fell unconscious while on duty on August 17 at Nagpur airport and passed away.
The incident raised questions about mounting fatigue among crews as pilots claimed that to cut costs, airlines were using weak rules set by the aviation regulator DGCA to squeeze more flying time from them, threatening passenger safety.
IndiGo which operates around 1,900 flights per day more than 4,000 pilots doing up to four take-off and landings per day.
Last month, the Indian Pilots Guild- a union of Tata-owned Air India’s wide body pilots wrote to the airline’s head of safety saying that relentless pursuit of operational efficiency and economic gains is making the airline overlook rules that guide the duty time limit of pilots.
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