Recommended Layouts

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Authors: Bryan Beck
Anton Koros
D. M. McAnulty, Ph.D.

Koros, A., McAnulty, D. M., & Beck, B. (2008). Recommended layouts for the en route area supervisor work space (DOT/FAA/TC-TN-08/11). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.


Over the past decade, the Supervisor Work Space (SWS) at Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCCs) has evolved to include as many as eight computer-based systems and other legacy equipment, paper reference materials, and supplies. Researchers from the Federal Aviation Administration Human Factors (HF) Team surveyed supervisors regarding equipment usage, location, and placement issues. Supervisors from 20 ARTCCs responded. The supervisors reported using computer systems approximately 50% of the time during a typical shift. They noted that their work spaces were cluttered, that placement of some systems made it difficult to see monitors or to access input devices, and that it was difficult to maintain the equipment. The HF researchers identified two common SWS layouts: (a) one layout in which the supervisor was seated in the main aisle looking into the operations area and (b) an alternate layout in which the supervisor was seated inside the operations area. The researchers developed baseline virtual reality models of the SWS based on HF guidelines and satisfactory aspects of existing work spaces. A working group of operational supervisors reviewed the baseline models and developed recommended layouts for the exterior, interior, and centralized command models of the en route area SWS.