OBJECTIVE JOB DIFFICULTY, BEHAVIOURAL RESPONSE, AND SECTOR CHARACTERISTICS IN AIR ROUTE TRAFFIC CONTROL CENTRES

Two thousand observations on 47 radar sectors in Boston and New York were used to determine the principal behavioral stressors in the air traffic control environment. Predictor variables included peak traffic, mean airspeed, sector area, sector type, radio-communication time, and theoretically derived control load factors. Expert observers rated the degree of activity and behavioral arousal of ATC (Air Traffic Controllers) working the 47 radar sectors at the same time the objective measures were made. These "pace" ratings were significantly related to peak traffic count and duration of radio communications. The control load factors were not related to behavioral responses. Statistical analyses indicated several refinements for the definition and measurement of the control load factors. For example, airspace control load was reliably estimated by sector type and number of transitioning planes, while coordination control load was most appropriately estimated by duration of radio communications. These results suggest that estimations of workload may be made by a relatively few objective measures, and that at least one estimate of individual's behavioral responses, i.e., pace ratings, can be predicted by peak traffic counts.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Taylor & Francis

    4 Park Square, Milton Park
    Abingdon,   United Kingdom  OX14 4RN
  • Authors:
    • Hurst, M W
    • Rose, R M
  • Publication Date: 1978-9

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00195048
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1979 12:00AM