An Analysis of En Route Controller-Pilot Voice Communications
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An Analysis of En Route Controller-Pilot Voice Communications

Filetype[PDF-1.30 MB]


  • English

  • Details:

    • Resource Type:
    • Edition:
      Final Report
    • NTL Classification:
      NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-SAFETY AND SECURITY ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Human Factors ;
    • Abstract:
      The purposes of this analysis were to examine current pilot-controller communication practices in the en route

      environment. Forty-eight hours of voice tapes from eight different Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCCs) were

      examined. There were 5,032 controller-to-pilot transmissions and 3,576 clearances (e.g., instructions to maneuver or

      change radio frequencies, routing changes, etc.) In this sample.

      The complexity of the clearances (I.e., the number of pieces of information) was examined and the number of erroneous

      readbacks and pilot requests for repeats were analyzed as a function of clearance complexity. Pilot acknowledgements

      were also analyzed; the numbers of full and partial readbacks, and acknowledgements only (i.e., "roger") were tallied.

      Fewer than one percent of the clearances resulted in communications errors. Among the error factors examined were:

      complexity of the clearance, type of acknowledgement, use of call sign In the acknowledgement, type of information in

      error, and whether or not the controller responded to the readback error. Instances in which the controller contacted

      the aircraft with one call sign and the pilot acknowledged the transmission with another call sign were also examined.

      The report concludes with recommendations to further reduce the probability of communication problems.

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