This paper presents a model to address the increased workload for air traffic controllers (ATC) due to the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the airport ecosystem. The FAA established small UAS operational regulations in 2016. Already, UAS pilots comprise over 20% of the total pilot population, and UAS account for 89% of the total aircraft registrations. Given current FAA resource constraints and the forecast growth of air traffic, innovative safety management solutions are required to address the increase in controller workload and the associated safety risks. This research presents one perspective regarding the impact of UAS operations on air traffic controller workload and a conceptual model to address the increase in UAS operations at airports. The model proposes designating predetermined UAS safety zones, or routes, inside the airport. By limiting UAS operations to designated zones, controller resources may be more focused while maintaining an acceptable level of safety.
& Hubbard, S.
(2021). UAS Safety Zones: A Model for Addressing Increased Air Traffic Controller Workload. 55th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 54-59.