Situation Awareness in Airway facilities
Todd Truitt, PhD.
Truitt, T. R., & Ahlstrom, V. (2000). Situation awareness in airway facilities: Replacement of maintenance control centers with operations control centers (DOT/FAA/CT-TN00/09). Atlantic City International Airport: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.
The Federal Aviation Administration plans to consolidate the present Maintenance Control Centers (MCCs) into three Operations Control Centers (OCCs). This consolidation should increase efficiency and service by centralizing operations and by standardizing procedures. This document examines the likely effects of this consolidation on specialists’ situation awareness (SA). Research psychologists from the National Airspace System Human Factors Branch (ACT-530) of the William J. Hughes Technical Center examined specialists’ SA in the context of two basic plans. First, the Area-Specialist Plan maintains OCC specialists’ responsibility for the same geographical areas they had in the MCC while continuing to monitor and control multiple technical systems. Second, the Technical-Specialist Plan would divide the responsibility of operations for one-third of the country between specialists in different technical areas. These two plans present very different and complex views of how best to implement OCCs. Each plan has advantages and disadvantages regarding SA. We discuss tradeoffs and examine a primary concern regarding SA and the transition from MCCs to OCCs.