UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Behavioural Markers of Air Traffic Controller Development

Thompson, DJ; (2013) Behavioural Markers of Air Traffic Controller Development. Doctoral thesis (PhD), UCL (University College London). Green open access

[thumbnail of Thompson_1421081_Thesis_nov_2013.pdf]

Download (9MB) | Preview


A key challenge when introducing new systems and technologies into Air Traffic control (ATC) is to understand levels of emerging controller proficiency ahead of scheduled implementation. Behavioural markers have been used in several complex industries to assess levels of non-technical skill; however these measures invariably focus upon the desired behaviours attained by the end of training. This research has explored how an Air Traffic Controller’s (ATCO’s) overt non-technical behaviour changes in presence and prevalence as they progress their expertise during training. Through document review, expert engagement, and most extensively direct observation of ATCOs during and after training, a number of non-technical behaviours indicative of varying proficiency have been identified. These markers were placed within a simple three-level learning and development framework. Five categories emerged across the behaviours identified; i) input and interaction with the Human Machine Interface (HMI), ii) interaction with others, iii) physical posture and body Language, iv) attitude and mood; v) communications and verbal commentary. An observation sheet containing the markers was iteratively developed, tested, and refined in various ATC environments. Both expert ATCOs undergoing system transition training, and ab-initio trainee controllers undertaking aerodrome training were followed through longitudinal study. A capped frequency count was used to record the precise presence of individual markers. Several dual-observations were also undertaken to determine inter-rater reliability and construct validity. In total, the performance of the individual markers has been evaluated across 129 real-world observations. 30 markers demonstrate reliable correlations for changing prevalence against total system exposure time and provide an original means of tracking and monitoring subtle changes in the behaviour of ATCOs, as their levels of proficiency in the task matures with new ATC systems.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: PhD
Title: Behavioural Markers of Air Traffic Controller Development
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Electronic and Electrical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1421081
Downloads since deposit
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item