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Analysis of Airspace Traffic Structure and Air Traffic Control Techniques

Research and Teaching Output of the MIT Community

Show simple item record Alverne Falcão de Albuquerque Filho, Emilio Hansman, R. John 2012-04-03T18:39:37Z 2012-04-03T18:39:37Z 2012-04-03
dc.description.abstract Air traffic controller cognitive processes are a limiting factor in providing safe and efficient flow of traffic. Therefore, there has been work in understanding the factors that drive controllers decision-making processes. Prior work has identified that the airspace structure, defined by the reference elements, procedural elements and pattern elements of the traffic, is important for abstraction and management of the traffic. This work explores in more detail this relationship between airspace structure and air traffic controller management techniques. This work looks at the current National Airspace System (NAS) and identifies different types of high altitude sectors, based on metrics that are likely to correlate with tasks that controllers have to perform. Variations of structural patterns, such as flows and critical points were also observed. These patterns were then related to groupings by origins and destinations of the traffic. Deeper pilot-controller voice communication analysis indicated that groupings by flight plan received consistent and repeatable sequences of commands, which were identified as techniques. These repeated modifications generated patterns in the traffic, which were naturally associated with the standard flight plan groupings and their techniques. The identified relationship between flight plan groupings and management techniques helps to validate the grouping structure-base abstraction introduced by Histon and Hansman (2008). This motivates the adoption of a grouping-focused analysis of traffic structures on the investigation of how new technologies, procedures and concepts of operations will impact the way controllers manage the traffic. Consideration of such mutual effects between structure and controllers' cognitive processes should provide a better foundation for training and for engineering decisions that include a human-centered perspective. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This work was financially supported by FAA grant 06-G-006 and NASA Cooperative Agreement NN06CN23A. Anton Koros and Eddie Sierra were the technical sponsors and provided valuable feedback and assistance. en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries ICAT;2012-01
dc.rights An error occurred on the license name. en
dc.rights.uri An error occurred getting the license - uri. en
dc.subject Air Traffic Control en_US
dc.subject Air Transportation en_US
dc.subject National Air Space en_US
dc.title Analysis of Airspace Traffic Structure and Air Traffic Control Techniques en_US
dc.type Technical Report en_US

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