Federal Aviation Administration 3 Whats The Definition of Insanity? Julia Pounds Aerospace Human Factors Research Division FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute Presented at OKJDM April 28, 2007 Federal Aviation Administration
Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. --Einstein
Federal Aviation Administration 5 When separation standards are violated due to an element of the ATC system, an operational error (OE) is recorded. The FAA tracks the occurrence of OEs as an important metric for understanding trends in the National Airspace System (NAS). Considerable organizational effort is directed toward reducing OEs (e.g., new automation & equipment, procedures, training approaches) 1 st A Little Background
Example Airborne flights Radar control 4 1403:32Separation was lost. Closest proximity was 600 feet vertically and 4.25 nautical miles laterally.
Federal Aviation Administration 7 Example Runway Tower control
Federal Aviation Administration 8 An OE event triggers the FAAs formal investigation process during which – The controllers failure to maintain situation awareness is often discussed. – Failure to detect is a frequently recorded causal factor in the final report. Background Recommendations can (and often do) include corrective training for operational personnel involved in the OE.
Federal Aviation Administration 9 Recent FAA OE reduction initiatives have focused on: Enhancing communication skills (e.g., ATC phraseology) Improving position relief briefings Reducing distractions Factors related to a controllers performance –Failure to detect displayed data –Failure to comprehend displayed data –Failure to project future status of displayed data Background
Federal Aviation Administration 10 The airport runway is the Most important mainstream In any town. -Norm Crabtree Background The FAA has a long history of training air traffic control specialists (ATCS) to maintain aircraft (A/C) separation. – Initial training – Recurrent training – Corrective training
Fail to project Fail to comprehend ? All Facilities, OEs Only, P Controller Only
Federal Aviation Administration 13 Air traffic control performance requires cognitive resources to accomplish. It is primarily a thinking activity. Air traffic control is a high consequence domain and thus requires expert performance levels. Performance must be viewed as part of a complex web of human-in-the-loop systems. Air traffic control can be viewed as a series of critical points that become links in a chain of events. Considerations
Federal Aviation Administration 14 What types of training were being assigned to controllers following an OE to –Improve thinking processes? –Maintain expert performance? –Aid performance in human-in-the-loop systems? –Break links in the chain of events? Research Question TO PAY ATTENTION! Historically Preferred Approach
Federal Aviation Administration 15 Materials FAA final reports for 752 OEs from January 2 to December 31, 2003 (CY03) were obtained. The text field containing training recommendations was extracted for each OE.
Federal Aviation Administration 16 Procedures An ATC subject matter expert identified every training item listed in each report. Not included were associated items commonly done after in most OEs as routine procedure, e.g., having the controller –Complete an on-the-job training session with an instructor prior to returning to duty –Review of the voice tapes –Watch a re-creation of the event –Discuss the event with his/her supervisor
Federal Aviation Administration 17 Controller will be administered refresher training that will focus on duty priority, operational listening and remembering, improving scanning, and maintaining situational awareness. –Review the event playback and voice recording with the supervisor. –Review Breaking the Chain - the training video on reducing OEs –Complete refresher training on arrival and departure procedures –Complete computer-based instruction courses (CBI) for the following: 1.Situational awareness 2.ATC communications 3.ATC OE reduction All operational supervisors in the facility will be required to review the CDR and voice recording and be briefed on the events that led to this OE. Example of Training Recommendations From a Final OE Report
Federal Aviation Administration 18 RESULTS 47% - CBI programs (national or locally-developed) 43.9% - FAA Orders (employee reviews paragraphs of an Order pertaining to important aspects of the OE) 9.1% - Other (employee watched videos about a particular factor, such as Breaking the Chain, or watched traffic simulations, reviewed maps, etc.) 3714 training recommendations were identified in the 752 OE reports.
Federal Aviation Administration 19 The results of this study supported employees anecdotes of a dependency on knowledge-based training strategies for controllers. ATC relies on highly skilled performance. A skill-based training paradigm is needed to supplement existing training programs and target skills that support strong controller performance. Discussion
Federal Aviation Administration 20 Beginning in 2002, the FAA developed, tested, and deployed the National Air Traffic Professionalism Program (NATPRO) –a skill-based program –integrates both knowledge-based and skill-based components –delivered using a Seminar-Practicum format Yes, a skills training paradigm for controllers is possible Discussion
Federal Aviation Administration 21 Series 1 (Pay Attention!) is currently used in all en route centers and being deployed to terminal facilities (towers and radar approach control facilities) –Topics include attention processes, concentration, and multitasking. Series 2 (Listen Up) is currently being deployed to en route centers. –Topics target listening skills and readback/hearback processes between controllers and pilots. National Air Traffic Controller Professional Performance Program (NATPRO)
Federal Aviation Administration 22 For both knowledge-based & skill-based training Measurement: How to measure training effectiveness? Individual behaviors: Does the training improve controllers operational performance? System level: Does the training reduce OEs? What other kinds of training are needed? Many Questions Remaining
Federal Aviation Administration 24 Whats The Definition of Insanity? Julia Pounds Aerospace Human Factors Research Division FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute Presented at OKJDM April 28, 2007
Federal Aviation Administration 25 Specifically, what is an OE? When an element of the ATC system is responsible for A/C separation and -- 1.applicable separation is not maintained between two or more A/C, or an A/C and terrain or obstacles, or 2.an A/C lands or departs on a runway closed to A/C operations at a controlled airport after receiving air traffic authorization, or at an uncontrolled airport and it was determined that the required Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) about the closure was not issued to the pilot. Background