The need to train air traffic controllers on sector-specific operational traffic patterns and procedures creates staffing inflexibility and training inefficiency across the National Airspace System (NAS). The deployment of generic airspace, or air traffic control sectors with similar operational characteristics, is one means of addressing these challenges in next generation (NextGen) ATC operational concepts. Based on prior work, local, sector specific knowledge, is thought to be captured in part through abstractions, or simplifications of a controller’s mental model. This paper describes a methodology used to identify key properties characterizing three distinct abstraction types (standard flows, handoffs, and merges). This categorization provides a useful basis for assessing the relative importance of differences in abstractions between sectors, a key step in assessing operations similarities required for the generic airspace concept.
& Hansman, R.
(2011). Characterizing Air Traffic Controller Sector Specific Knowledge: An Abstractionbased Analysis. 16th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 638-643.