Impact of Operating Context on the Use of Structure in Air Traffic Controller Cognitive Processes
Author(s)Davison, H. J.; Histon, J. M.; Ragnarsdottir, M. D.; Major, L. M.; Hansman, R. J.
This paper investigates the influence of structure on air traffic controllers’ cognitive processes in the TRACON, En Route, and Oceanic environments. Radar data and voice command analyses were conducted to support hypotheses generated through observations and interviews conducted at the various facilities. Three general types of structure-based abstractions (standard flows, groupings, and critical points) have been identified as being used in each context, though the details of their application varied in accordance with the constraints of the particular operational environment. Projection emerged as a key cognitive process aided by the structure-based abstractions, and there appears to be a significant difference between how time-based versus spatial-based projection is performed by controllers. It is recommended that consideration be given to the value provided by the structure-based abstractions to the controller as well as to maintain consistency between the type (time or spatial) of information support provided to the controller.
5th Eurocontrol / FAA ATM R&D Seminar, Budapest, Hungary
air transportation, air traffic control, Cognition, Projection