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Get a 360 Degree Perspective and a Sound Operational Understanding of the Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT)
The challenge facing developers of any new technological capability, from new automotive features to aircraft avionics functions to military weapons systems, is to fully understand the 'real world' human environment within which those new technologies will be expected to function. That principle applies equally to the development of new Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) capabilities.
Air traffic controllers are expected to incorporate direct interactions with new automation systems and/or sensors into their already busy and stressful role of ensuring that aircraft are safely separated from other aircraft and terrain. Any changes to the operational environment through the introduction of new technology can inadvertently (1) increase rather than decrease the mental workload of controllers resulting in an effective reduction in system operational capacity or, even worse, (2) become a distraction to the primary mission of ensuring safety.
The vetting of new technological features and capabilities should begin with operationally knowledgeable technologists at the earliest possible point in the design and development process so that adverse design features can be either removed or re-designed with the least programmatic impact. This presentation by expert speaker Stephen M. Alvania is intended to help create those 'operationally knowledgeable technologists' by focusing on WHAT air traffic controllers in an ATCT do, HOW they do it, and what they're THINKING while they do it. One objective of this presentation is to give technologists that initial sense of what it 'feels like' to be an air traffic controller as a consideration in the design process.
This program focuses on the Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) and will cover the following topics to provide a sound operational understanding of this ATC facility type:
- Discussion on the unique operational role and airspace allocation of the ATCT relative to the other ATC facility types: (1) the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), (2) the enroute Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), and (3) the national Traffic Flow Management (TFM) facility
- A comparison of, and rationale for, Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations
- The three core ATCT control positions
- Discussion of the Clearance Delivery control position
- Discussion on the Ground Control position including standard procedures, typical operational restrictions, and common ATC control strategies
- Discussion on aircraft Wake Vortex dangers, avoidance, and other considerations
- A Ground Control scenario to demonstrate the typical operational considerations ground controllers address every day
- Insight on the Local Control position including standard procedures, typical operational restrictions, and common ATC control strategies
- A Local Control scenario to demonstrate the typical operational considerations that local controllers address every day
- Learn about controller workload and controller 'acceptance' issues regarding new technologies
Benefits of the Session:
The benefits of this presentation for the attendees are manifold:
- If YOU are a pilot, flight dispatcher, airport management, student, or anyone else with an interest in air traffic control operations, this presentation will provide a solid understanding of what goes on in an airport tower.
- If YOU are in any way involved in the technical and operational enhancement of ATC process, this presentation will let YOU see tower operations as viewed by air traffic controllers and the ATC service providers. This insight will allow YOU to empathize with the people who will be expected to utilize the new technologies and capabilities being developed.
- Your genuine understanding of ATC and empathy with controllers will establish a common bond with the subject matter expert controllers on the development team and significantly enhance two-way communications. You'll be better able to 'get' the nuances of controller feedback and the controllers won't be inclined to 'dumb down' their comments to 'accommodate the technical people'.
- Building on that enhanced understanding, empathy, and communications, this program will give YOU the increased confidence and credibility you'll need to make and voice operationally based programmatic judgments. You'll be able to address such major issues as:
- Is the identified operational problem real or is it simply a misperception or an assumption?
- Will the identified technical solution actually address or correct the problem?
- Are there hidden or potential operational workload and/or safety issues that have not yet been fully addressed?
- Is the rhetoric surrounding the new technological capability correct and reasonable or might it cause credibility issues later?
- The bottom line for aviation is that your better and deeper understanding of the air traffic control process will allow serious operational issues to be identified and fixed before they reach rhetorical and/or funding critical mass.
- The bottom line for YOU is that your better and deeper understanding and insight regarding the air traffic control process will enhance your ability to design, build, develop, and deploy effective new ATC technologies, applications, and capabilities.
Who should attend?
- The presentation is geared towards attendees who are involved in designing and developing new airport traffic control tower technologies, applications, and operational capabilities. These attendees would include both government and industry:
- Electrical and software engineers
- Computer scientists
- Technical analysts and scientists
- Aviation program managers
- Aviation Safety & Security personnel
- Aviation policy analysts
- Aviation Executives
- This presentation would also be invaluable for flight crews and others who have an interest in what is happening on the 'other side of the frequency'. This knowledge will enhance their understanding of what the controllers are trying to accomplish and facilitate their interactions with ATC through a new and intuitive feel for their joint roles in the ATC process.
- The presentation would also be invaluable for anyone with a general, personal, or professional interest in, or a need to understand, the ATC process. This group of attendees would include:
- Airline and corporate flight dispatchers
- Airport management personnel
- Aviation students
- Aviation journalists