Aviation News

IndiGo to use tech to study fatigue among their pilots, Infra News, ET Infra


Pilots of IndiGo will soon wear a wrist gadgand use a ground device to detect fatigue and check their alertness level before and after their flights.

The airline will start this experiment in collaboration with French aerospace conglomerate Thales group to collect data and use it to make flight patterns and roster which are reduces tiredness of their pilots,

The airline will also on board a sleep researcher who will work on its fatigue management system, according to an internal memo reviewed by ET.

“After six years of research, they have developed a fatigue detection model, offering detailed insights into demographic data, including routes, pairings, crew profiles, and more, going beyond traditional scheduling- models.

“IndiGo will conduct a proof-of-concept trial for their technology-driven interface to assess pilot alertness levels over the next few months. Once completed, we will collectively evaluate the efficacy and accuracy of the data,” Ashim Mitra, senior vice president of Flight Operations wrote in a note to pilots.

However IndiGo will continue the existing system where pilots can ask for removal from duty when they feel tired.

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 minutes 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.

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 has more than 4,000 pilots doing up to four take-off and landings per day.

Last month, 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 which guide the duty time limit of pilots.

  • Published On Sep 13, 2023 at 04:13 PM IST

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