Jeppesen FRM
News Flash JAN'19
Fatigue Risk Management tools
that make a real difference

Mastering Complexity in Cargo Operations

Airbridge Cargo, a Russian airline cargo operator with a global presence and 19 Boeing 747s, chose to implement Jeppesen Crew Pairing, and use advanced mathematics for optimization of the flight sequences for their pilots (see media release from the Farnborough Airshow). 

Crew Pairing optimization for cargo operations is particularly challenging for a number of reasons. Mattias Lindqvist, Product Manager at Jeppesen, explains: 
”Efficiently staffing a cargo flight schedule for operators flying all over the globe, means a need to considering an enormous amount of possible combinations. The networks of these operators are staffed typically from several different crew bases, where crew availability is often misaligned with the ’center of gravity’ of the production. Furthermore, the crossing of multiple time zones when operating globally creates a need for greater management of fatigue risk, but also consider almost an infinite number of deadheading options and ground transports for positioning crew. Sometimes two or three consecutive positionings may be needed - and ideally, all flight schedules from other carriers are considered as cargo operators often fly to less frequented airports.”

“Training adds to this complexity. Crew should ideally regularly ’position’ in to locations having simulators, ideally while flying active to keep costs in check. Often, due to the long time away from base and imbalances in crew availability over the bases, there is a need of incorporating standby slots into the pairings while building them with the optimizer. The result of the above is a ’combinatorial explosion’ that only can be harnessed with advanced mathematics, and still may result in many hours of run time also for smaller fleets of some twenty tails. It is easy to understand that, with the ever-changing constraints (flight schedules, crew availability etc.), manual pairing construction, even when relying on long experience, often is outcompeted with some 5-10% on the overall objective.”  

Tomas Klemets, Head of Scheduling Safety at Jeppesen, adds, ”The development in the last couple of years in cargo crew pairing optimization has been quite amazing. The improved deadhead search, and the ability to consider fatigue risk properly with biomathematical models during optimization, makes it a very compelling case for cargo operators to take a second look at benchmarking their current process against leading capabilities, quantifying the potential in improved efficiency and reduced risk. Only a couple of years ago, some of these planning problems faced at AirBridge Cargo, Cathay Pacific, UPS, etc., could not be fully solved - they were just too computationally demanding. Long term research efforts into improved algorithms are now paying off and put into action.”

Please find more information about Jeppesen Crew Pairing here.

Napping Techniques: The Coffee Nap

Is your napping technique backed by scientific research? Please find here a short video explaining the effect of caffeine and how to best use it in combination with a nap. 

Monitoring your Operation just Became even Easier

Unless you can quantify, track and perform detailed analysis using well defined key performance indicators, it is close to impossible to improve your operation in a verifiable way.
Jeppesen Concert allows for detailed analysis using over 100 different SPIs reflecting fatigue risk and roster properties leading in to any flight planned or flown - supporting improvement of your crew management processes. In addition, Concert has a new feature added; automated SPI reports to keep you fully informed while 'leaning back'. The functionality automatically detects new trends in your data and informs you on the findings, regularly.
Please drop us an email and we will set up a demo to take you through the power of leading analytics built into Jeppesen Concert. 

Position Your Alertness Where it Matters the Most

A well-functioning FRMS should 'merry' the two perspectives of both established science and operational experience. One mechanism, based on those, implemented for limiting fatigue risk may be hard 'rules' prohibiting certain scheduling patterns. The drawback with these rules is that they are digital in nature (true/false) - and absolutely prohibiting something can become very costly to the airline. This is why these rules rarely gets implemented, which of course results in no improvement at all in flight safety. An alternative, and better option, is to reduce and distribute fatigue risk using penalties in the objective function, guiding the optimizer constructing the original work patterns. This solution does not guarantee that a certain scheduling combination doesn't appear now and then, but it enables a signifcant reduction of the total fatigue risk. And at a much lower cost.
So how can established science about our physiology for an 'average individual', be blended in with the specific operational experience of an operator? The most straightforward way is simply to apply experience-based 'weights' on the operational conditions to factor up/down the penalties guiding the roster construction. The table below illustrates some typical conditions that can be configured that makes sure that alertness is 'positioned' well within the total planning solution. By increasing the penalty of operating with low alertness into a category C airport for example, the optimizer will produce solutions where pilots are predicted to have, in general, higher alertness for those flights (by picking another pilot and/or a better roster context preceding the flight). By adding these types of elements, and associate them with a weight (examples below in the table), alertness is positioned where it matters the most, at a minimal cost.       
Please find more explanations of the mechanisms at play in this document: Best Practice Control of Fatigue Risk Throughout the Crew Management Process 

Meet up with the Jeppesen experts:

APR 1-3: Flight Operational Forum, Olso
APR 9-12: AGIFORS, Mexico City
APR 11-12: FRM Training Course, Gothenburg
MAY 14-15: Jeppesen Crew and Fleet Developer Partners Conference, Gothenburg
SEP 9-13: Shiftwork & Working Time Symposium, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Missed out on the previous NewsFlash? It's right here.
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