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The charm of ATCO roster flexibility

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

An Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) can only be as effective as the roster they put in place for their Air Traffic Controllers. According to a study, a well-designed shift schedule should take into account the specific characteristics of the controller tasks, the physiological needs of the Air Traffic Controllers, and the rest periods.

It is crucial to have a roster that respects the ANSP's need for flexibility, to make the most of employees' capabilities. The flexibility ultimately makes a real difference in the effectiveness of the ANSP.

Rostering automation can improve the state of the ANSP in terms of flexibility. Still, it is first necessary to recognize its significance in the overall work environment and at the individual level.

Flexibility for a healthy work environment and happy ATCOs

According to the World Health Organization, a healthy work environment is "one in which workers and managers collaborate to continuously improve the health, safety, and well-being of all employees, thereby sustaining the business's productivity."

Work-life balance is an important component of this healthy environment. Still, unfortunately, for some workplaces or organizations, it is not realized to its full potential or remains a fancy concept. More information on how Air Traffic Controllers can achieve work-life balance can be found in this article.

Flexibility also contributes to a more welcoming workplace. Consider this healthy work environment and flexibility a two-way communication channel between employees and management, rather than managers proposing a roster model without considering ATCOs preferences.

Individual flexibility has some strong benefits that are reflected in overall business:

  • Increasing satisfaction and motivation;

  • Reducing absenteeism;

  • Minimizing the potential for human errors;

  • Mitigating risks of fatigue.

These benefits are enhanced and easily realized through rostering automation.

What is the role of rostering automation in the flexibility game?

Aside from the benefits listed above, rostering automation can assist ANSPs in various ways.

  • It can boost the ANSP's flexibility by allowing it to respond to changing conditions more quickly.

  • It can increase ANSP efficiency by reducing the need for manual data input.

  • It has the potential to improve the ANSP's overall work by reducing the possibility of human error in the rostering process.

SkyRoster, the rostering automation platform, can become your best friend when creating and utilizing flexible rosters.

Roster officers can use the Strategic Roster module to create a roster with a few clicks by selecting data such as roster settings, roster constraints, and staff data.

As an Air Traffic Controller, you can simply choose days on the platform to avoid being assigned to a specific shift. This gives you the freedom to choose while having your preferences respected. Also, roster officers will not have to deal with a controller changing the schedule at the last minute and having to redo everything. Even if this were to occur, SkyRoster could resolve the issue and find the best solution in a few minutes.

Another benefit of rostering automation is that you, as a controller, have access to the entire calendar and can see and select the days you want to take leave. You can also see the days set aside for training or medical exams. For example, if you select days off with a few clicks, you don't need to exchange more emails or wait to speak with the roster manager. He will be notified on the platform and can approve the leave from there, and you will be notified of the approval.

Shift swapping is another fantastic way to empower your employees' flexibility. When an emergency arises, a controller can see which other controllers have the same skills as them and select to swap with a click. The other person will be notified of the request and will be able to swap shifts through SkyRoster. Shift swapping allows things to be dealt promptly without the problem of roster distortion.

In a nutshell

The flexibility provided by rostering automation offers mental comfort for both employees and managers. The ATCOs will know they can solve personal problems without interfering with their work. This mental comfort is also applied to managers because they will not have to make significant changes manually, which can cause stress or tension within the units.

Are you ready for roster flexibility? Get SkyRoster!

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