Title page for ETD etd-10102012-172457

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Van Rooyen, Ronel
Email ronelvanr@vodamail.co.za
URN etd-10102012-172457
Document Title Exploring stressors in air traffic controllers in South Africa
Degree MCom
Department Human Resource Management
Advisor Name Title
Mr G J Steyn Supervisor
  • critical incident stress management
  • air traffic controllers
Date 2012-09-07
Availability restricted
The aim of this study was to explore the stressors in Air Traffic Controllers in South Africa by means of identifying the possible causes of stress as well as to determine the demographic differences such as age, sex and size of Air Traffic Control Centres in these stressors. Air traffic control is commonly considered a stressful job, and the researcher decided to examine the situation in South Africa.

The air traffic control job was also studied to identify the causes of stress as Air Traffic Controllers are very important in their own right and the aviation world are becoming increasingingly complex in which air traffic control plays an essential part. Air Traffic Controllers perform extremely demanding and challenging work, as indicated by the fact that many controllers retire before their acctual retirement with stress-related work disabilities.

Stressors, applicable to air traffic controllers, were discussed to help the controller to identify his or her source of stress. It is important because stress is an everyday fact of life, which cannot be avoided but must be adjusted to. Stress is often regarded as an individual problem, however, there are characteristics of work, called “job stressors” that can cause a stress reaction in most workers.

The data was collected by means of the Experience of Work and Life Circumstances Questionnaire (WLQ), that was sent to all Air Traffic Control Stations across South Africa. The questionnaire was developed to determine the levels and causes of stress of employees. The WLQ endeavours to establish whether employees experience normal, high or very high levels of stress, and also identify those factors, which cause these levels of stress. The questionnaire consists of three different parts, namely, a demographic questionnaire, experience of work which determine the levels of stress and finally, circumstances and expectations which analyse the causes of stress.

It was clear from this study that for Air Traffic Controllers, uncertainty and lack of control over their own destiny and immediate circumstances, contributed to an increase in the levels of stress. It was clear that Air Traffic Controllers value their skills and want to be rewarded accordingly. Therefore, it was further demonstrated that remuneration, employee benefits and employee policies contribute substantially to the levels of stress experienced by Air Traffic Controllers.

© 2012 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Van Rooyen, R 2012, Exploring stressors in air traffic controllers in South Africa, MCom dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10102012-172457/ >


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