Air traffic controller memory

Full Text: PDF icon Pdf (2.32 MB)
Document Number:
Publication Date:
Authors: Earl S. Stein

Stein, E. S. (1991). Air traffic controller memory -- a field survey (DOT/FAA/CT-TN90/60). Atlantic City International Airport: Federal Aviation Administration Technical Center.


This current study had two goals. First was a need to evaluate the Controller Memory Handbook using input from current field controllers. The second goal was to gather data from field facilities concerning the impact of memory on the performance of controllers and how they went about trying to manage their memory resources in daily operations. Controllers agreed that memory was an important element of their work. They were able to rate it independently of their evaluation of the Handbook. The average ratings on the Handbook for relevance, realism, and overall quality exceeded 7 on a l0-point scale. The majority of the respondents liked the Controller Memory Handbook and saw it as a positive contribution. An open ended question asked for techniques that the controllers used to manage their limited memory resources. The responses covered a wide range of alternatives, but the most frequently cited techniques could be summarized by two words: "good housekeeping." Most controllers, who responded, suggested that effective memory management involved practicing what they were taught and using the tools they were provided in a consistent and conscientious manner.

Updated: May 04, 2012 11:21 AM