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Maintaining Vigilance on a simulated ATC Monitoring Task Across Repeated Sessions
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF AVIATION MEDICINE
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Maintaining alertness to information provided visually is an important aspect of air traffic controllers work. Improper or incomplete scanning and monitoring behavior is often referred to as one of the causal factors associated with operational errors and deviations. This study was undertaken to assess changes in vigilanceattention across 3 separate days as subjects performed on an Air Traffic Control ATC simulation task. Information was gathered as part of a larger study of attention and gaze control inefficiencies. Twenty paid subjects on 3 separate days monitored a simulated ATC task for 44 critical events over a 2 hour session. The complex monitoring task included the detection of a altitude malfunctions b aircraft conflictno conflicts where 2 aircraft were at the same altitude on an airway simultaneously and c triangular targets representing VFR aircraft that appeared either centrally or peripherally on the screen during the course of each session. Changes in performance on the complex monitoring task associated with either time-on-task or repeated sessions were dependent on nature of the task. Performance on the component involving detection and decision-making conflictno conflict detection evidenced a decrement associated with time-on- task on each of the 3 days. Improvement was evident from the first to the third day. Performance on the identification of the altitude malfunctions remained relatively immune to the effects of time-on-task or repeated sessions.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE