Friday, June 13, 2014
FAA Needs to Evaluate ATC Worker Fatigue, Report Says
[Avionics Today June 13, 2014] According to a new report issued by the United States’ National Research Council (NRC), the FAA needs to improve its models used to determine Air Traffic Controller’s (ATC) staffing needs at terminal areas and airport towers across the country. The study was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and examined the methods used by the FAA to estimate how many controllers are needed to staff its ATC facilities on a daily basis.
“Other complications include the uncertainty of air traffic forecasts and the fact that a large percentage of the controllers are eligible to retire, as it can take years to train new controllers. The committee’s recommendations aim to enable controller staffing decisions that are consistent, that are driven by proper science and data analysis, and that will address relationships between ensuring safety, meeting the operational needs of the aviation community, and demonstrating cost effectiveness," said committee chair Amy Pritchett, associate professor of cognitive engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology.