The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between controllers’ opinions about the User Request Evaluation Tool (URET), an air traffic control decision support tool, and their use of various URET functions, including its flight data management capabilities, conflict prediction information, and problem-solving tools (e.g., trial planning). We expected that, compared with those who were less positive about URET, controllers who rated the tool more positively would use it more often in performing sector team duties. In 2002, formal observations were made of 181 en route controllers using URET at six facilities. URET display settings, usage, and use of automated flight strip equivalents were recorded. Controllers were also asked their opinions about the readability/usability of URET, changes in roles and communications between controller team members, their typical use of URET features, their perceptions of URET’s effects on safety, workload, time required to perform tasks, and benefits provided to pilots. Dichotomously-coded answers to opinion questions were used as independent variables in t-tests. Dependent variables were counts of activities performed using paper, the Host computer, or URET. Controllers who performed more URET tasks thought the system required less time to use and were more positive about its effect on safety than those who performed fewer URET tasks. They were also more likely to indicate that they checked alerts and performed trial planning. Use of specific Aircraft List (ACL) functions was also related to controllers’ likelihood of using URET’s decision support capabilities. It is unclear whether controllers’ familiarity with URET resulted in their positive opinions about the system or if having positive impressions made them want to use the system more frequently. It is also unclear whether increased use of the system would change controllers’ opinions about URET. Regardless, these results indicate that there is a relationship between positive opinions and URET usage.
Manning, C. A.,
& Dennis, M.
(2005). The Relationship Between Controller Opinions and Use of an Atc Decision Support Tool. 2005 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 479-483.