Situation awareness in air traffic control

Full Text: PDF icon Pdf (0.34 MB)
Document Number:
Publication Date:
Authors: Mica R. Endsley
Akiko Nakata
Randy Sollenberger, PhD.
Earl S. Stein

Endsley, M. R., Sollenberger, R. L., Nakata, A., & Stein, E. S. (2000). Situation awareness in air traffic control: Enhanced displays for advanced operations (DOT/FAA/CT-TN00/01). Atlantic City International Airport: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center


Future changes in the National Airspace System indicate a self-separation operational concept. This study examined the Air Traffic Control Specialist’s ability to maintain situation awareness and provide needed monitoring and separation functions under this concept. The study also provides an empirical evaluation of the effects of an enhanced display concept as a window on the existing air traffic control radar display. This window furnished the targeted altitude or heading of aircraft in a transitionary state. This information simulated that provided by a datalink from the aircraft flight management system in a future air traffic operation. The introduction of the enhanced display appeared to have some utility in aiding controllers in dealing with air traffic operating under self-separation. The enhanced display resulted in improvements in some air traffic control performance and situation awareness measures. Results suggest that further improvements in the enhanced display may better integrate it with the controller radar display. In addition, researchers recommend methods for measuring controller situation awareness in future air traffic control research.