Use of Structure as a Basis for Abstraction in Air Traffic Control
Author(s)Davison, H. J.; Hansman, R. J.
The safety and efficiency of the air traffic control domain is highly dependent on the capabilities and limitations of its human controllers. Past research has indicated that structure provided by the airspace and procedures could aid in simplifying the controllers cognitive tasks. In this paper, observations, interviews, voice command data analyses, and radar analyses were conducted at and using data from the Boston Terminal Route Control (TRACON) facility to determine if there was evidence of controllers using structure to simplify their cognitive processes. The data suggest that controllers do use structure-based abstractions to simplify their cognitive processes, particularly the projection task. These structure-based abstractions were outlined and their effect on various ATC cognitive processes were discussed. Suggestions for the design of future ATC information tools were provided based on the findings from this study.
Proceedings of the International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
air traffic control, air transportation, cognitive capabilities