Auditory Alarms in the Airway Facilities Environment

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Authors: Vicki Ahlstrom
Gulshan Panjwani

Ahlstrom V., & Panjwani, G. (2003). Auditory alarms in the airway facilities environment (DOT/FAA/CT-TN04/04). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.


This report describes a study on auditory alarms in Airway Facilities (AF). There are two parts of the study. The first part of the study presents a baseline of current auditory alarms and the current acoustical environment at AF operational sites. A research team from the William J. Hughes Technical Center visited Service Operations Centers at several Air Route Traffic Control Centers and Terminal Radar Approach Control facilities. They collected data on current AF alarms and the AF acoustical environment, including facility layouts. A researcher then captured and recorded the data, which are summarized. The document also provides a baseline of information for future systems. The second part of the study presents the results of a survey and structured interviews conducted at AF sites. The survey consisted of 15 potential auditory alarm issues that are often problematic in other environments. AF specialists rated these issues for the relevance to their own environments. The research team then followed up with structured interviews to obtain additional information and place a perspective on the issues identified in the rating exercise. Finally, the researchers provide recommendations based on human factors guidelines and research to help resolve these issues for AF specialists.