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Concept: Airline


Background Worldwide, 2.75 billion passengers fly on commercial airlines annually. When in-flight medical emergencies occur, access to care is limited. We describe in-flight medical emergencies and the outcomes of these events. Methods We reviewed records of in-flight medical emergency calls from five domestic and international airlines to a physician-directed medical communications center from January 1, 2008, through October 31, 2010. We characterized the most common medical problems and the type of on-board assistance rendered. We determined the incidence of and factors associated with unscheduled aircraft diversion, transport to a hospital, and hospital admission, and we determined the incidence of death. Results There were 11,920 in-flight medical emergencies resulting in calls to the center (1 medical emergency per 604 flights). The most common problems were syncope or presyncope (37.4% of cases), respiratory symptoms (12.1%), and nausea or vomiting (9.5%). Physician passengers provided medical assistance in 48.1% of in-flight medical emergencies, and aircraft diversion occurred in 7.3%. Of 10,914 patients for whom postflight follow-up data were available, 25.8% were transported to a hospital by emergency-medical-service personnel, 8.6% were admitted, and 0.3% died. The most common triggers for admission were possible stroke (odds ratio, 3.36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.88 to 6.03), respiratory symptoms (odds ratio, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.48 to 3.06), and cardiac symptoms (odds ratio, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.37 to 2.77). Conclusions Most in-flight medical emergencies were related to syncope, respiratory symptoms, or gastrointestinal symptoms, and a physician was frequently the responding medical volunteer. Few in-flight medical emergencies resulted in diversion of aircraft or death; one fourth of passengers who had an in-flight medical emergency underwent additional evaluation in a hospital. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Physician, First aid, Emergency medical services, Aircraft, Airline, Avianca, Airlines


The Germanwings Flight 9525 crash has brought the sensitive subject of airline pilot mental health to the forefront in aviation. Globally, 350 million people suffer from depression-a common mental disorder. This study provides further information on this important topic regarding mental health especially among female airline pilots. This is the first study to describe airline pilot mental health-with a focus on depression and suicidal thoughts-outside of the information derived from aircraft accident investigations, regulated health examinations, or identifiable self-reports, which are records protected by civil aviation authorities and airline companies.

Concepts: Psychology, Mental disorder, Suicide, Aircraft, Aviator, Airline, International Civil Aviation Organization, Civil aviation


ABSTRACT. This study aims to identify the interactive effect of role breadth self-efficacy (RBSE) and the three levels of self-concept (collective, relational, and individual) in predicting of different foci of proactive behaviors. Results from 259 matched responses from an airline company in Taiwan showed that RBSE had a positive effect on (1) pro-organizational proactive behavior among those with higher collective self-concept, (2) pro-supervisor proactive behavior among those with higher relational self-concept, and (3) pro-self proactive behavior among those with higher individual self-concept. Our findings provide insights into the moderating role of different levels of self-concept on RBSE-proactive behavior process in terms of specific targets or beneficiaries. Further implications for organizational research and practice are discussed.

Concepts: Sociology, Educational psychology, Behavior, Motivation, Human behavior, Organizational studies, Airline, Proactivity


This article concerns the assignment of buffer time between two connected flights and the number of reserve crews in crew pairing to mitigate flight disruption due to flight arrival delay. Insufficient crew members for a flight will lead to flight disruptions such as delays or cancellations. In reality, most of these disruption cases are due to arrival delays of the previous flights. To tackle this problem, many research studies have examined the assignment method based on the historical flight arrival delay data of the concerned flights. However, flight arrival delays can be triggered by numerous factors. Accordingly, this article proposes a new forecasting approach using a cascade neural network, which considers a massive amount of historical flight arrival and departure data. The approach also incorporates learning ability so that unknown relationships behind the data can be revealed. Based on the expected flight arrival delay, the buffer time can be determined and a new dynamic reserve crew strategy can then be used to determine the required number of reserve crews. Numerical experiments are carried out based on one year of flight data obtained from 112 airports around the world. The results demonstrate that by predicting the flight departure delay as the input for the prediction of the flight arrival delay, the prediction accuracy can be increased. Moreover, by using the new dynamic reserve crew strategy, the total crew cost can be reduced. This significantly benefits airlines in flight schedule stability and cost saving in the current big data era.

Concepts: Prediction, Futurology, Future, Forecasting, Flight, Fixed-wing aircraft, Aircraft, Airline


Wildlife collisions with aircraft cost the airline industry billions of dollars per annum and represent a public safety risk. Clearly, adapting aerodrome habitats to become less attractive to hazardous wildlife will reduce the incidence of collisions. Formulating effective habitat management strategies relies on accurate species identification of high-risk species. This can be successfully achieved for all strikes either through morphology and/or DNA-based identifications. Beyond species identification, dietary analysis of birdstrike gut contents can provide valuable intelligence for airport hazard management practices in regards to what food is attracting which species to aerodromes. Here, we present birdstrike identification and dietary data from Perth Airport, Western Australia, an aerodrome that saw approximately 140,000 aircraft movements in 2012. Next-generation high throughput DNA sequencing was employed to investigate 77 carcasses from 16 bird species collected over a 12-month period. Five DNA markers, which broadly characterize vertebrates, invertebrates and plants, were used to target three animal mitochondrial genes (12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, and COI) and a plastid gene (trnL) from DNA extracted from birdstrike carcass gastrointestinal tracts.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, RNA, Species, Ribosomal RNA, Bird, Airport, Airline


The expanding global air network provides rapid and wide-reaching connections accelerating both domestic and international travel. To understand human movement patterns on the network and their socioeconomic, environmental and epidemiological implications, information on passenger flow is required. However, comprehensive data on global passenger flow remain difficult and expensive to obtain, prompting researchers to rely on scheduled flight seat capacity data or simple models of flow. This study describes the construction of an open-access modeled passenger flow matrix for all airports with a host city-population of more than 100,000 and within two transfers of air travel from various publicly available air travel datasets. Data on network characteristics, city population, and local area GDP amongst others are utilized as covariates in a spatial interaction framework to predict the air transportation flows between airports. Training datasets based on information from various transportation organizations in the United States, Canada and the European Union were assembled. A log-linear model controlling the random effects on origin, destination and the airport hierarchy was then built to predict passenger flows on the network, and compared to the results produced using previously published models. Validation analyses showed that the model presented here produced improved predictive power and accuracy compared to previously published models, yielding the highest successful prediction rate at the global scale. Based on this model, passenger flows between 1,491 airports on 644,406 unique routes were estimated in the prediction dataset. The airport node characteristics and estimated passenger flows are freely available as part of the Vector-Borne Disease Airline Importation Risk (VBD-Air) project at:

Concepts: Scientific method, Statistics, European Union, Prediction, Futurology, Prophecy, Airport, Airline


In recent years, the U.S. commercial airline industry has achieved unprecedented levels of safety, with the statistical risk associated with U.S. commercial aviation falling to 0.003 fatalities per 100 million passengers. But decades of research on organizational learning show that success often breeds complacency and failure inspires improvement. With accidents as rare events, can the airline industry continue safety advancements? This question is complicated by the complex system in which the industry operates where chance combinations of multiple factors contribute to what are largely probabilistic (rather than deterministic) outcomes. Thus, some apparent successes are realized because of good fortune rather than good processes, and this research intends to bring attention to these events, the near-misses. The processes that create these near-misses could pose a threat if multiple contributing factors combine in adverse ways without the intervention of good fortune. Yet, near-misses (if recognized as such) can, theoretically, offer a mechanism for continuing safety improvements, above and beyond learning gleaned from observable failure. We test whether or not this learning is apparent in the airline industry. Using data from 1990 to 2007, fixed effects Poisson regressions show that airlines learn from accidents (their own and others), and from one category of near-misses-those where the possible dangers are salient. Unfortunately, airlines do not improve following near-miss incidents when the focal event has no clear warnings of significant danger. Therefore, while airlines need to and can learn from certain near-misses, we conclude with recommendations for improving airline learning from all near-misses.

Concepts: Airport, Northwest Airlines, Aircraft, Airline, Avianca, Airlines, Civil aviation, Southwest Airlines


Data on the incidence of in-flight medical emergencies on-board civil aircraft are uncommon and rarely published. Such data could provide information regarding required medical equipment on-board aircraft and requisite training for cabin crew. The aim of the present study was to gather data on the incidences, nature, and medical equipment for in-flight medical emergencies by way of a survey of physician members of a German aerospace medical society.

Concepts: Medicine, Physician, Profession, Pediatrics, Medical school, Specialty, Licensure, Airline


We conducted this study to characterize in-flight pediatric fatalities onboard commercial airline flights worldwide and identify patterns that would have been unnoticed through single case analysis of these relative rare events.

Concepts: Northwest Airlines, Pattern matching, Aircraft, Airline, Avianca, Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Regional airline


Resilience of most critical infrastructures against failure of elements that appear insignificant is usually taken for granted. The World Airline Network (WAN) is an infrastructure that reduces the geographical gap between societies, both small and large, and brings forth economic gains. With the extensive use of a publicly maintained data set that contains information about airports and alternative connections between these airports, we empirically reveal that the WAN is a redundant and resilient network for long distance air travel, but otherwise breaks down completely due to removal of short and apparently insignificant connections. These short range connections with moderate number of passengers and alternate flights are the connections that keep remote parts of the world accessible. It is surprising, insofar as there exists a highly resilient and strongly connected core consisting of a small fraction of airports (around 2.3%) together with an extremely fragile star-like periphery. Yet, in spite of their relevance, more than 90% of the world airports are still interconnected upon removal of this core. With standard and unconventional removal measures we compare both empirical and topological perceptions for the fragmentation of the world. We identify how the WAN is organized into different classes of clusters based on the physical proximity of airports and analyze the consequence of this fragmentation.

Concepts: Scientific method, Earth, Economics, Science, Empirical, World, 2006 albums, Airline