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Procedural errors in air traffic control: effects of traffic density, expertise, and automation.
Aviat Space Environ Med. 2006 Jun; 77(6):639-43.AS

Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Air traffic management requires operators to frequently shift between multiple tasks and/or goals with different levels of accomplishment. Procedural errors can occur when a controller accomplishes one of the tasks before the entire operation has been completed. The present study had two goals: first, to verify the occurrence of post-completion errors in air traffic control (ATC) tasks; and second, to assess effects on performance of medium term conflict detection (MTCD) tools.

METHODS

There were 18 military controllers who performed a simulated ATC task with and without automation support (MTCD vs. manual) in high and low air traffic density conditions. During the task, which consisted of managing several simulated flights in an enroute ATC scenario, a trace suddenly disappeared "after" the operator took the aircraft in charge, "during" the management of the trace, or "before" the pilot's first contact.

RESULTS

In the manual condition, only the fault type "during" was found to be significantly different from the other two. On the contrary, when in the MTCD condition, the fault type "after" generated significantly less errors than the fault type "before." Additionally, automation was found to affect performance of junior controllers, whereas seniors' performance was not affected.

DISCUSSION

Procedural errors can happen in ATC, but automation can mitigate this effect. Lack of benefits for the "before" fault type may be due to the fact that operators extend their reliance to a part of the task that is unsupported by the automated system.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Cognitive Ergonomics Laboratory, Department of Psychology, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy. dinocera@uniroma1.itNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

16780243

Citation

Di Nocera, Francesco, et al. "Procedural Errors in Air Traffic Control: Effects of Traffic Density, Expertise, and Automation." Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, vol. 77, no. 6, 2006, pp. 639-43.
Di Nocera F, Fabrizi R, Terenzi M, et al. Procedural errors in air traffic control: effects of traffic density, expertise, and automation. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2006;77(6):639-43.
Di Nocera, F., Fabrizi, R., Terenzi, M., & Ferlazzo, F. (2006). Procedural errors in air traffic control: effects of traffic density, expertise, and automation. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 77(6), 639-43.
Di Nocera F, et al. Procedural Errors in Air Traffic Control: Effects of Traffic Density, Expertise, and Automation. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2006;77(6):639-43. PubMed PMID: 16780243.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Procedural errors in air traffic control: effects of traffic density, expertise, and automation. AU - Di Nocera,Francesco, AU - Fabrizi,Roberto, AU - Terenzi,Michela, AU - Ferlazzo,Fabio, PY - 2006/6/20/pubmed PY - 2006/11/11/medline PY - 2006/6/20/entrez SP - 639 EP - 43 JF - Aviation, space, and environmental medicine JO - Aviat Space Environ Med VL - 77 IS - 6 N2 - INTRODUCTION: Air traffic management requires operators to frequently shift between multiple tasks and/or goals with different levels of accomplishment. Procedural errors can occur when a controller accomplishes one of the tasks before the entire operation has been completed. The present study had two goals: first, to verify the occurrence of post-completion errors in air traffic control (ATC) tasks; and second, to assess effects on performance of medium term conflict detection (MTCD) tools. METHODS: There were 18 military controllers who performed a simulated ATC task with and without automation support (MTCD vs. manual) in high and low air traffic density conditions. During the task, which consisted of managing several simulated flights in an enroute ATC scenario, a trace suddenly disappeared "after" the operator took the aircraft in charge, "during" the management of the trace, or "before" the pilot's first contact. RESULTS: In the manual condition, only the fault type "during" was found to be significantly different from the other two. On the contrary, when in the MTCD condition, the fault type "after" generated significantly less errors than the fault type "before." Additionally, automation was found to affect performance of junior controllers, whereas seniors' performance was not affected. DISCUSSION: Procedural errors can happen in ATC, but automation can mitigate this effect. Lack of benefits for the "before" fault type may be due to the fact that operators extend their reliance to a part of the task that is unsupported by the automated system. SN - 0095-6562 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16780243/Procedural_errors_in_air_traffic_control:_effects_of_traffic_density_expertise_and_automation_ L2 - https://www.ingentaconnect.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=0095-6562&volume=77&issue=6&spage=639&aulast=Di Nocera DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -