Advanced Concept of the National Airspace System

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Authors: Anton Koros
Ben Willems

Willems, B., & Koros, A. (2007). Advanced concept of the National Airspace System of 2015: Human factors considerations for air traffic control (DOT/FAA/TC-TN07/21). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.


During the next decade, all users and service providers within the National Airspace System (NAS) will experience profound changes. This report focuses on changes to the roles, responsibilities, and procedures for air traffic controllers during the transition and implementation of the new NAS. This report provides a description of upcoming enhancements for each system, human factors implications of these enhancements, and the effect of these new technologies and processes on air traffic controllers. The authors suggest that technology alone will not be able to support the increased capacity demands and that system designers will need to rely on a combination of technology and consideration of the human operators in the system. They conclude that the primary human factors considerations of these new technologies and procedures are in the areas of information processing, situation awareness, workload, errors, skill acquisition and maintenance, and new roles and responsibilities.