Tower cab metrics

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Authors: Pamela Della Rocco
Randy Sollenberger, PhD.

Sollenberger, R. L., & Della Rocco, P. S. (2001). Tower cab metrics (DOT/FAA/CT-TN02/03).Atlantic City International Airport: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.


This report is part of a continuing effort to develop human factors measures for different operational environments in the Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Control (ATC) system. Previous research at the William J. Hughes Technical Center Research Development and Human Factors Laboratory has focused on measures for the Terminal Radar Approach Control and en route radar environments (e.g., Sollenberger, Stein, & Gromelski, 1997; Vardaman & Stein, 1998). This work focuses on human factors measures for the local and ground controller positions in the Tower Cab environment. We reviewed a number of existing sources of measures that have been used in different ATC environments. The result is a proposed battery of objective and subjective candidate measures for the Tower Cab. In addition, we present an initial effort to develop behavioral rating scales for use by subject matter experts to evaluate performance in the Tower Cab environment. As a whole, these measures provide a broad look at performance for researchers to apply in a simulation environment. This allows for conducting experiments to obtain both baseline and comparison measures for assessing the effects of any proposed changes in technology, automation, or procedures. We must conduct more research to assess the validity and reliability of the proposed measures in the Tower Cab environment through continued usage in simulations. Future research should also develop metrics for the remaining positions in the Tower Cab.