100 Years Air Traffic Control

Technical Webinar Series

Health and Wellbeing of Aviation Professionals

Date: 17th March 2023
Time: 1100 (UTC)

Health and Wellbeing of Aviation Professionals (Virtual)

The Aviation Industry is one of the industries with an unending 24-hour cycle split into shifts on a rotational basis. Regardless of the time of day, Pilots around the world continue to fly, Air Traffic Controllers manage the airspace by keeping watch and keeping airplanes safely apart, Safety Engineers work diligently to keep CNS equipment serviceable, Airside Operators marshal and push back aircraft, RFFS personnel remain on high alert etc. Inside terminal buildings are Check-in Agents, Aviation Security Personnel, Immigration Officers, Customs Officers and State Security Officials who also work round-the-clock to keep the industry safe.
An August 2016 research by Sonati and others on the ‘Quality of Life, Sleep, and Health of Brazillian Air Traffic Controllers With Rapid Counterclockwise Shift Rotation’concluded that the group of ATCs studied were overweight, had excess body fat, had elevated blood pressure, and were physically inactive, suggesting increased risk for chronic non-transmittable diseases. The sleep analysis showed significant sleep deprivation caused by working night and morning shifts, compromising worker performance, health, and quality of life. Perceptions of quality of life were found to be more negative, mainly in terms of physical aspects and social relations.
The above conclusions will hold true for most Aviation shift workers who are expected to remain alert and perform optimally to ensure that Air travel remains the safest means of transport.
Pilots, ATCs and cabin crew among others undergo vigorous medical examinations periodically to make sure they are fit to work. Throughout their career, they are responsible for maintaining valid licenses and medical certificates. Failure of any medical examination can result in temporary suspension or loss of license.
In view of this, it is important for Aviation Professionals to maintain a good mental, psychological, physiological and physical state of health and wellness. 
How can we stay in good health and a good state of wellbeing to be able to perform our duties effectively? What lifestyle changes are required of us to improve our quality of life? What are the general industry-related health risk factors?
Join us for the 7th episode where we will host three esteemed Industry experts to give insights on the topic and help answer these burning questions and more. 
Remember the saying “Health is Wealth” as we all begin this year on a healthy note!


Matita Tshabalala
Matita has been working in the aviation sector for 19 years. He has held different positions in the operations, HR and safety departments. He is a registered Industrial Psychologist with the Health Profession Council of South Africa (HPCSA) since 2013 and also a registered Aviation Psychologist with the European Association for Aviation Psychology (EAAP) since 2016. He is also a Human Factors Specialist registered with the European Association for Aviation Psychology (EAAP) since 2012. He is interested in systems thinking, complexity/chaos theory and cognitive psychology. His Areas of Expertise include: Incident and accident Investigation, Mental Health, Talent Management, Change Management, Organizational Resilience, Group dynamics and Facilitation, and Psychometric Assessments

Dr. Issaka Yakubu Akparibo
Dr. Issaka Yakubu Akparibo, Medical Director of CareFlight Ghana, is a Ghanaian Aerospace Medicine specialist. He is a graduate of Wright States University Aerospace medicine program, Kings College London and the Royal Air Force Center of Aviation Medicine Programs. Dr. Akparibo is an Aviation medical examiner for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia, the South African Civil Aviation Authority and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority. He enjoys flying and cycling and is currently working on getting his private pilot license.

Dr. Steven Shorrock
Steven Shorrock is a Chartered Psychologist and Chartered Ergonomist and Human Factors Specialist with 25 years of experience in industry and academia, including high-profile infrastructure and culture projects, throughout Europe. He has developed a range of Human Factors tools used internationally and co-written a number of white papers. He currently works at EUROCONTROL, leading on Human Factors, Safety Culture, Systems Thinking and Safety-II. He is Editor-in-Chief of HindSight magazine and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast (Centre for Human Factors & Sociotechnical Systems). In a private 
capacity, he blogs at humanisticsystems.com and has co-edited Human Factors and Ergonomics in Practice: Improving performance and wellbeing in the real world.

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