n Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Occupational stress and coping resources in air traffic control

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1010-2728



Stress presents a serious challenge in air traffic control and requires air traffic controllers to develop coping resources to effectively deal with work-related stress. This study explored the coping resources that air traffic controllers used to cope with work-related stress, and determined if there are statistically significant differences in the coping resources of air traffic control staff from different demographic sub-groups. Air travel has increased and is expected to continue to increase as more people are choosing flying as a convenient and quick mode of transport. With the increase in air traffic, it is expected that air traffic controllers will experience more stress as there will be more aircraft in the sky to separate. A convenience sample of 82 responses out of 100 distributed questionnaires was received. The results showed that air traffic controllers mostly use emotional coping resources to cope with stressful work situations and make less use of cognitive coping resources. There are no statistically significant differences in the coping behaviour of air traffic control staff from different demographic sub-groups. This study only explored how air traffic controllers cope with stress and relied on previous studies on what causes stress in air traffic control.

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