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Analysis of En Route Operational Errors: Probability of Resolution and Time-On-Position
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OKLAHOMA CITY OK CIVIL AEROSPACE MEDICAL INST
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The Federal Aviation Administrations Air Traffic Control Organization Safety Management System SMS is designed to prevent the introduction of unacceptable safety risk into the National Airspace System. One of the most important safety metrics used in the Air Traffic Organizations SMS is the rate and severity of air traffic control operational errors OEs. While OE rates tell us about the frequency of occurrence, the rates in and of themselves do not provide a direct assessment of safety risk. Two additional metrics are proposed for inclusion in the Air Traffic Organizations SMS. These include the probability of resolution POR index and the time-on-position probability TOPP index. Whereas the POR is a measure of OE containment i.e., resolving a loss of separation before the situation worsens, the TOPP is a measure of the occupational risk of an OE occurring due to traffic exposure. In this report, each metric is mathematically developed and empirically evaluated using archival en route data. In Study 1, the utility of the POR is evaluated based on 1293 OEs extracted from an en route OE research database for the period May 1, 2001 to May 31, 2003. In Study 2, the utility of the TOPP is evaluated based on 1,397,206 time-on-position entries from six en route centers for the 2006 calendar year. The results of both studies are discussed within a SMS framework.
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