Accession Number : ADA328997

Title :   Distribution of Attention, Situation Awareness, and Workload in a Passive Air Traffic Control Task: Implications for Operational Errors and Automation

Descriptive Note : Final rept

Corporate Author : FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF AVIATION MEDICINE

Personal Author(s) : Endsley, Mica R. ; Rodgers, Mark D.

PDF Url : ADA328997

Report Date : JUL 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 25

Abstract : A study was conducted to investigate factors underlying operational errors (OEs) in en route air traffic control. Twenty active duty controllers watched re-creations of OEs and were asked to report on their situation awareness and workload on two occasions during the re-creations. A total of 14 OEs were examined. Responses were analyzed to determine how subjects allocated their attention while viewing the scenarios. While observed patterns probably reflect necessary prioritization schemes, attention strategies identified in this study can be linked to data on factors underlying OEs. Both objective taskload, as indicated by the number of aircraft being controlled, and subjective workload were found to be related to controllers' ability to report situation awareness information. Workload was found to be higher at the time of the QE than at the other stop during the re-creation. During high workload, controllers appeared to reduce attention paid to certain aircraft and variables to maintain awareness of more important information. Implications of this research are drawn for potential problems in situation awareness under passive monitoring conditions that may be present if certain forms of automation are introduced in the future air traffic control system.

Descriptors :   *AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS, *WORKLOAD, *AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS, *ATTENTION, *AWARENESS, STRATEGY, MONITORING, REPORTS, PASSIVE SYSTEMS, TIME, ERRORS.

Subject Categories : Air Navigation and Guidance
      Psychology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE