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Crew safety under focus: Tyagi

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FLYING HIGH: Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi receiving a medal from Frank S. Pettyjohn, president of International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine, at 54th International Congress of Aviation and Space Medicine in Bangalore on Monday. Ph oto: K. Bhagya Prakash
FLYING HIGH: Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi receiving a medal from Frank S. Pettyjohn, president of International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine, at 54th International Congress of Aviation and Space Medicine in Bangalore on Monday. Ph oto: K. Bhagya Prakash

Staff Reporter

54th International Congress of Aviation and Space Medicine gets under way

BANGALORE: The accelerated modernisation of aviation and space industry has opened up new opportunities and posed challenges in specialisation of fields that helps maintain operational efficiency and safety of the aircrew, Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi said here on Monday.

The Air Chief Marshal was speaking at the inauguration of 54th International Congress of Aviation and Space Medicine.

Mr. Tyagi said the crew flying advanced aircraft encountered many new challenges and problems such as loneliness while flying for long duration, decompressing sickness and the need for in-flight nutrition.

"The long duration flights place huge demands on the crew," he said. The IAF was learning to cope with these challenges. Tackling psychological and physiological factors affecting aircrew had become urgent and crucial. The challenge lay in addressing them without compromising on safety.

The conference should bring out ways and means to help the airmen perform better as psychological profiling of the pilots had demonstrated. Rapid advances in the medical field should be made use of in removing even the temporary unfitness of the crew, he said.

International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine president Frank S. Pettyjohn said India had made a mark in the field of aerospace medicine. The academy was using the Congress as a forum to interact with individuals and get to know the new techniques that helped in protecting the aircrew.

The former Vice-Chancellor of Manipal Academy of Higher Education B.M. Hegde said the aviation medicine had a lot to do with flying at high altitudes and at phenomenal speeds where human physiology could undergo remarkable changes. These physiological changes and other factors such as the effect on human body as a result of sudden loss of cabin pressure in pressurised aircraft and long-term effects of flying had not been fully understood.

Dr. Hegde said the IAF needed to conduct screening of recruits. It should look at changing the lifestyle, including the food intake, work environment, exercise and avoiding alcohol while addressing the health-related problems of aircrew.

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