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Building a comprehensive Fatigue Risk Management System with Southwest Airlines

SouthwestSouthwest Airlines is the world’s largest low cost carrier.  Their 8,000 pilots operate nearly 4,000 flights per day during peak travel season to 98 destinations within the continental United States and to near international locations. Across a 24-month project, Clockwork Research has worked closely with the Southwest Airlines Flight Operations Safety Department to implement a system-wide FRMS for the airline.

Components of the Southwest Airlines FRMS

The Southwest Airlines FRMS project has included a range of activities:

  • the first ever comprehensive fatigue survey of pilots at a US-based airline
  • the development of an effective fatigue reporting system
  • systematic and wide-spread data collection
  • FRMS promotion including the design of online training material, and
  • FRMS assurance processes.


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We have been working closely with Clockwork since 2013. They have been instrumental in the airline successfully setting up an effective fatigue programme, through an in-depth analysis of the airlines operations and produced excellent training materials to improve the crew understanding of fatigue. The staff at Clockwork are extremely knowledgeable and professional, making it easy to achieve good results in reducing the risks associated with fatigue in our very complex environment.open quote

Russel Ellis

Director, Operations Control

Air Astana

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We embarked on a complex project with Clockwork and the team at Clockwork were receptive to our ideas and made sure they immersed themselves in our own company culture. This relationship building gave us the ability to give open and honest feedback from both parties which resulted in an excellent programme that our cabin crew could use that was appropriate to their roles and easy to relate to.open quote

Matt Whipp

Manager SEP, Security & AvMed Training

Virgin Atlantic Airways

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Luxair has built a strong link to Clockwork over the past years. Not only did they help us to develop successful fatigue surveys with our cabin and cockpit crews but they also played a major role in the development of our fatigue reporting, our FRMS training and the analysis of our scheduling practices. Clockwork's staff were always open to our ideas/thoughts and with their professionalism and dedication helped us achieve our goal of mitigating fatigue related risks through our SMS.open quote

Pascal Kremer

Safety Manager