Vol 8, No 2 (2017) > Industrial Engineering >

Effects of Peppermint Odor on Performance and Fatigue in a Simulated Air Traffic Control Task

Dwita Astari Pujiartati, Yassierli Yassierli



Air Traffic Control
(ATC) tasks require a high mental workload with complex cognitive activities.
Since the tasks are likely to be fatigue-inducing and may cause aircraft
accidents, ergonomics interventions are needed. This study investigated the
effectiveness of peppermint odor on improved performance and fatigue while
conducting simulated ATC tasks. A total of 16 participants performed ATC tasks
using SkyHigh simulation software for two hours in two conditions (with and
without peppermint odor). While the simulator was able to record participants’
performance during ATC tasks, participants’ fatigue development was monitored
using an electroencephalograph (EEG), a heart rate monitor (HRM), and
psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) apparatus. The results of this study show that
the use of peppermint odor significantly (p < 0.05) improved simulation
performance, based on all simulation indicators. The peppermint odor also
significantly (p < 0.05) inhibited fatigue development, based on an EEG
measure (decline in parietal β), two HRM measures (decline in low frequency
power (LF) and increase in high frequency power (HF)), and a PVT measure (10%
of the longest time reaction).

Keywords: Air traffic control; Ergonomics intervention; Mental workload; Peppermint odor

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