transport safety

Swedish pilots "nodding off" at work

4:14 min

The Swedish pilots' union says that many planes are driven by people falling asleep at the controls.

"Pilots have nodded off, and when they wake up, they glance at their colleague and see that he's asleep too" says pilot and union head Gunnar Mandahl to Swedish Radio News.

A union survey that 625 pilots responded to was published on Wednesday. It says that half of the pilots say they have fallen asleep in the cockpit, and seven out of ten say that they have made mistakes in the cockpit as a direct result of tiredness.

The pilots' union wants the Swedish Transport Agency, and government minister Catarina Elmsäter Svärd, to work to change the EU rules on pilots' working times, which they say were drawn up for the benefit of the airlines.