This study addresses the concept of monotony in ATC and describes uneventful and repetitive work conditions evoking such a state. Psychophysiological effects of repetitiveness in two simulated ATC-scenarios of low or high dynamic density (DD) were investigated with 24 air traffic controllers (M=29.5 years, 18 male, six female). Interactions approached significance (p<0.1) in conflict resolution time for an out-of-routine conflict situation. Conflict resolution lasted longer in repetitive traffic and resolution time increased from the first to the second run. Those findings are supported by a composite score of subjective attentiveness, fatigue, sleepiness, and concentration with lower values found in repetitive conditions. Although generally decreasing, the switch from low to high DD was rated favorably on the hedonic tone, while tense arousal was reacting more pronounced in non repetitive and low-high condition. In combination with the development of earlier reported cardiovascular (heart rate, heart rate variability) and subjective indicators the results underline the significance of a multidimensional assessment of monotony in ATC.
& Schaefer, D.
(2005). Discussing Monotony in ATC: Effects of Repetitive Traffic Patterns on Performance and Subjective Indicators. 2005 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 718-724.