Quantifying the Human Element of Safety in Airport Tower Operations: Overcoming Risks Introduced by Static Airport Characteristics

Katherine Berry, Micahel Sawyer, Jordan Hinson, Lori Dewalt
2015 Procedia Manufacturing  
The primary responsibility of an Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) controller is to prevent collisions between aircraft and other hazards on the surface and in the immediate vicinity. The safety service provided by controllers at towers with larger operations greatly exceeds the costs of establishing those towers. As the number of operations decreases, the costs of operating the tower may begin to outweigh the benefits of staffing the tower. With a focus on visual air traffic services
more » ... fic services (VATS), this assessment aims to examine the safety benefits being provided by controllers at ATCT in Class Delta (D) airspace through safety event narratives and airport characteristics. Safety event reports describing instances where an ATCT controller provided a service that reduced the consequences of the event were collected. The reports were classified to identify latent factors, causal factors, and positive safety benefits. The adverse causal factors and positive safety benefits were then utilized to determine statistically significant risk-benefit pathways describing the safety benefits that controllers provide at airports in Class D airspace. This paper presents the static risk-benefit pathway, one of the three determined pathways for Class D ATCT.
doi:10.1016/j.promfg.2015.07.834 fatcat:m2aoyjgm2bcorgux65ny7nr63m