- Misunderstandings in ATC Communication offers an in-depth report of a seminal study in aviation communication, which until now has only been available in the form of an unpublished dissertation. In addition, it offers a recent extension of that work, the authors’ reflections on the research process, and a thorough review of the aviation communication literature. Graduate students and researchers who wish to address real-world problems will appreciate the simple elegance of the experimental paradigm that has been used to address a wide range of theoretical and applied interdisciplinary research questions.
The book will appeal to scholars in the fields of human factors, linguistics, cognitive psychology, applied linguistics and second-language education and assessment. It is also of direct relevance to government and industry decision-makers and operators as they strive to implement the ICAO requirements, and to improve aviation safety.
- Contents: Introduction; Part I The Effects of Linguistic Properties and Message Length on Misunderstandings in Aviation Communication: Introduction to part I; Air Traffic Control radio communication; The omission and deletion of linguistic elements in ATC clearances; Experimental study of ATC-like instructions; Conclusion to part I. Transition. Part II The Effects of Message Length, Second Language Proficiency and Cognitive Workload in Aviation Communication: Introduction to part II; Literature review; Methods; Results; Discussion; Implications and conclusions for part II; Final conclusion; Appendices; References; Index.
- About the Author: Immanuel Barshi is a Senior Principal Investigator in the Human Systems Integration Division at NASA Ames Research Center. His current research addresses cognitive issues involved in the skilled performance of astronauts and pilots, as well as mission controllers and air traffic controllers, their ability to manage challenging situations, and their vulnerability to error. Among the topics investigated by his research group are spatial reasoning, decision making, risk assessment, communication, and skill acquisition and retention. The results of his work have been implemented in checklist design, operational procedures, and training programs in space, aviation, medicine, and nuclear facilities.
Dr. Barshi holds PhDs in Linguistics and in Cognitive Psychology. He has published books and papers in basic and applied psychology, linguistics, and aviation. He holds Airline Transport Pilot certificate with A320, A330, B737, and CE500 Type Ratings; he is also a certified flight instructor for airplanes and helicopters, with over 35 years of flight experience.
Candace Farris is a doctoral student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Her current research addresses interaction between controllers and pilots in radio communication, with the objective of identifying skills required for successful communication in the global aviation context. Her findings are applicable to the field of aviation communications training and assessment for native and non-native speakers alike. Candace has over 10 years experience in aviation, having worked in the airline industry and as a consultant for the International Civil Aviation Organization.
- Reviews: ‘Kudos to the authors for successfully marrying the results of hard-core, academic studies conducted in the laboratory with analyses of data from real ATC transcripts, to produce tangible recommendations that can be directly put into practice in the field. An insightful book that will appeal to academics and practitioners alike, and is sure to make a difference in improving the effectiveness of pilot-controller communication.’
Loukia Loukopoulos, errorManagement, Europe
‘This multi-method book is informative as well as easy and fun to read. The authors include an excellent mix of using real world data and laboratory research to understand ATC-pilot communication. Students in many different areas of research can learn from this example of converging methods. Those involved in the field, especially those with power to make changes in prescribed routines, should read this book.’
Vivian Schneider, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
Effective radio communication between ATC and pilots has long been recognized as an important element of aviation safety. In recognition of the role miscommunications play in aviation incidents and accidents, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recently introduced language proficiency requirements for all flight personnel in all ICAO member states. Using an effective and economical experimental paradigm, the research described here teases apart the complex combination of factors (e.g. speech rate, controller message length, English language proficiency, cognitive workload) believed to contribute to miscommunications between controllers and pilots.
Safety Culture is the way safety is perceived, valued and prioritised in an organisation. It reflects the real commitment to safety at all levels in the organisation. It has also been described as "how an organisation behaves when no one is watching".
Safety Culture is not something you get or buy; it is something an organisation acquires as a product of the combined effects of Organisational Culture, Professional Culture and, often, National Culture. Safety Culture can therefore be positive, negative or neutral. Its essence is in what people believe about the importance of safety, including what they think their peers, superiors and leaders really believe about safety as a priority. It can have a direct impact on safe performance. If someone believes that safety is not really important, even temporarily, then workarounds, cutting corners, or making unsafe decisions or judgements will be the result, especially when there is a small perceived risk rather than an obvious danger.
Also for Skyguide the Safety Culture became very important, because they have the task of providing safe and efficient air navigation services. Safety remains the most important watchword, under the motto "Safety is not everything, but without safety theres is nothing".
Skyguide decided some years ago to create a central Safety department, whose head is a member of the executive board. The cen- tralisation of safety-relevant activities brings many advantages as well as certain challenges with it. One important aspect of this is the clear definition of roles and responsibilities. Through the concentration of its resources, the Safety department and its 30 specialists are able to maintain the consistency of safety-relevant activities and products at a high level.
The safety culture is a significant factor for success. All regulations, products and processes are useless if the great majority of all employees at all levels of the company do not have a good understanding of certain aspects of safety and want to promote safety. That is why it is important that safety is not considered in isolation, but as an integral part of the corpo- rate culture and is expressed every day by all employees. Here too, the Safety department tries to play a central role. It wants to develop methods, initiatives and the like that will make it possible for the company to continue to develop and to internalise the safety culture. The safety culture cannot be bought off-the- peg. It is a question of values, attitudes and the environment. The demands on it change constantly and depend to a significant extent on the development of the company in other areas.
But what challenges wait the Safety department of Skyguide in future, there are many of them. Safety does not exist in a vacuum: the demands of cost- efficiency, capacity and sustainability are equally as valid. It is a matter of integrating them together in order to find an overall opti- mum. This is at the core of the corporate cul- ture of skyguide as a High Reliability Organisation. All four aspects must be in equilibrium. A reduction of the undoubted over-complexity in the air navigation service system today will lead to an improvement in all four areas. Our safety experts try, whenever possible, to make a contribution to this end.
However, there are financial and time pressures on performance levels that can affect the man- ner in which our employees work. The safety culture must be constantly renewed and encouraged so that these pressures cannot put limitations on safety.
Many causes of the pressures are, however, to be found in the complex environment in which skyguide operates and can be influenced by the company either not at all or only indirectly with a great effort. The many varied and frequently contradictory, demands of other stakeholder groups within the aviation system, politics and the public represent great challenges.
It's clear that Skyguide is putting a lot of effort in the Safety Culture implementation in the company and the results of those efforts are showed up in the excellent safety results achieved in the past years, but as we said, the main target of safety can not be forgot and all employes and stakeholders must continue contributing for that mission.
Be an air traffic controller is not an easy task, we have to know a lot of different rules and regulations to apply them in order to achieve the safest flow of air traffic.
Usually the ATCO's are also people passionate about aircrafts but is not always the case and at the beginning there are a lot of aircraft to study in order to provide the correct separation for example during departures.
In all my life i've been always a airplane fan and i always look at the aircrafts when I can see one, for me isn't difficult to study them but I found some easy tools that will help other people like me to study them.
First of all I wanna to talk about all the books that you can find in the market, like aircraft dictionary ect, are very common in the libraries, another thing that you can do is visit the very famous website airliners.net that has a section called aircraft data that you can find here, in the same website you can spend thousand of time looking for all the pictures in the database, probably the most complete in the world!
I also found very interesting the gallery done by the user caribb in Flickr.com, in this gallery you can find a lot of specific pictures of the most important airline aircraft, here the link.
In the end I will talk about the database prepared by Eurocontrol and free to use for everyone, in this database you can find basically all the informations about the aircraft that are divided into different categories, together with many pictures you can also find a table that will show you the different performances. I found this tool very easy and powerful considering that is free!
Eurocontrol Aircraft Performance Database
The first quarter of 2013 saw a further decline in traffic volume in the airspace of the FABEC partners ANA (Luxembourg), Belgocontrol (Belgium), DFS (Germany), DSNA (France), LVNL (Netherlands), MUAC (EUROCONTROL) und skyguide (Switzerland). In the busiest airspace of Europe, a total of 1.149 million civil and military flights were conducted - a decline of approximately 63,000 flights over the same period of the previous year (2012: 1.212 million flights), a decline
-5.2 percent compared to the real traffic and a decline of 15.1 percent compared to the traffic forecast laid down in the FABEC performance plan. This significant decline in demand is a continuation of the overall trend of the previous years. Compared to the first quarter 2008 the air traffic volume showed a decline of 165,000 flights (-12.6 percent).
In the first quarter 2013, the service quality provided by the seven FABEC air navigation service providers has further improved. In this period, the average en-route air traffic flow management delay per controlled flight decreased from 0.28 minutes in the first quarter of 2012 to 0.21 minutes in the first quarter of 2013. The total amount of delay decreased from 338.000 minutes in 2012 to 242.000 minutes in 2013. In the first quarter 2013, only 1.21 percent (2012: 1.59 percent) of all 1.149 million controlled flights experienced delays.
"We are concerned about the negative trend of the traffic volume as it shows that the air transport industry is far from having weathered the crisis," said Maurice Georges, Chairman of the FABEC CEO Board. "The FABEC ANSPs expect revenue losses of more than EUR 210 million for the first reference period 2012-2014 alone. This fact cannot be ignored, in particular now that the negotiations about the targets of the second reference period are about to commence.”
The tower rating is going ahead and last week we have done all the exams for our second phase, the TTS and now we can start with the last Advance Tower Simulation (ATS) phase.
We are going to review again most of the concept we already done in the TTS but we are going to have a look into two new topics, the first one will be the CAT II conditions and/or the Low Visibility Procedure in our Omega airport, while later we are going to operate with the two runways, that means dual operations procedures.
I will start with the CAT II or LVP part, at the moment we had a mix of traffic both IFR and VFR but in this conditions of less than 550 m of RVR, we will control only IFR departure and arrivals. The first exercise was done yesterday and I can confirm that the only thing you can see outside your windows, it's a white wall!!
To comply with the need of maximum safety, during this situation the airports are required to implemented the so called Low visibility Procedure, ICAO has defined some minimum that must be follow but each airport authority can implement those procedures also before the ICAO minimums.
Now, let's have a look at how LVP is defined:
Low visibility procedures (LVP) means procedures applied at an aerodrome for the purpose of ensuring safe operations during lower than standard category I, other than standard category II, category II and III approaches and low visibility take-offs; - IR-OPS Annex I and EU-OPS 1.435
Low visibility take-off (LVTO) means a take-off with an RVR lower than 400 m but not less than 75 m; - IR-OPS Annex I and EU-OPS 1.435
Note that ICAO requires LVP for all departures below 550m RVR, not just LVTO
DescriptionLow visibility procedures have been devised to allow aircraft to operate safely from and into aerodromes when the weather conditions do not permit normal operations. To this end, they cover all relevant issues relating to surface movement other than aircraft within the designated aircraft manoeuvring area comprehensively.
HazardsOn aerodromes where the ground marking and lighting is adequate, ground traffic at reasonable flow rates can often be sustained safely in reduced visibility. An aeroplane on the ground is at its most vulnerable during the landing and the take-off phases of flight, when the options for avoiding action if an obstruction is encountered may be very limited. The aircraft is likely to be badly damaged or destroyed if it collides, at high speed, with any sizeable object.
Making the necessary transition to visual reference during the final stages of an approach to land in poor visibility is critical and certain requirements must be met to reduce the risk of aRunway Excursion. Low visibility take off also requires careful attention to correct runway alignment before the take off is commenced; an ILS LLZ signal can be used for verification if available. If an RTO is carried out, pilots must maintain awareness of runway length remaining using whatever external visual cues are available; relevant runway lighting, signage or markings may be available.
As visibility deteriorates, the potential for runway incursions by aircraft, vehicles or personnel increases. The risk of inadvertent runway incursion by taxiing aircraft is greatest at aerodromes with complex layouts and multiple runway access points. This risk can only be managed adequately by the application of procedures that provide the pilot with clear, unambiguous guidance on routing and holding points or ground traffic patterns.
The safe operation of airside vehicles depends upon drivers being adequately trained and thoroughly familiar with the aerodrome layout in all visibility conditions and by complying with procedures, signs, signals and ATC instructions. In low visibility conditions, special awareness is required and special procedures, including restrictions on normal access, may be invoked. All of this is an essential product of the Airport Operator SMS
AerodromesAerodromes that wish to continue operating in poor visibility or are available for instrument approaches in conditions of low cloud are required to develop and maintain LVPs.
Aerodromes that provide precision instrument approaches are required to develop and maintain additional procedures that ensure suitable measures are in place to protect the signal produced by the ground based radio navigation equipment.
The point at which LVPs should be implemented will vary from one aerodrome to another depending on local conditions and facilities available. The point at which LVPs are to be implemented must be clearly defined and should be related to a specific RVR or cloud ceiling measurement (e.g. RVR below 550m or cloud ceiling below 200 ft). Aerodromes may define higher values for RVR and ceiling than the ICAO standard depending on local circumstances.
Adequate consideration should be given to the time taken to implement fully all of the measures required to protect operations in low visibility conditions. Provision should also be made for alerting airlines and other organisations with movement area access in good time of the introduction of LVPs. This is particularly important where companies exercise control over their own apron areas and maintenance facilities adjacent to the manoeuvring area.
National authorities offer guide lines on when LVPs should be implemented and when they should cease. A typical example is UK CAP 168: Licensing of Aerodromes, Appendix 2B, which contains much other useful information and advice on the subject. ICAO guidance material on the implementation of LVP is available in ICAO EUR Doc 013 "European Guidance Material On Aerodrome Operations Under Limited Visibility Conditions".
OperatorsLow visibility procedures may only be conducted under strict conditions, which are described fully in IR-OPS Subpart E Low Visibility Operations (LVO) and associated Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material, and EU-OPS 1.440 - EU-OPS 1.460 and relevant appendices. Essentially these concern the following main areas:
Reference from Skybrary.aero
I leave you with a video found in Youtube, about a landing in Milano Malpensa in a foggy day in a CAT IIIB, the amazing video about the landing, will show you also the difficulties for pilots after vacating the runway, as they must taxi back to the apron area with almost zero visibility.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for March showing strong demand growth led by emerging markets with all regions showing gains. Total traffic rose 5.9% compared to March 2012.
Part of the rise may be attributable to traffic related to the Easter holiday, which occurred in March this year versus April 2012. But the seasonally adjusted trend continues to show strong growth, with demand expanding at an 8% annualized rate in the six months since October 2012. Capacity rose 3.5% compared to the year-ago period, pushing up load factor 1.8 percentage points to 80.3%.
“Strong demand for air travel is consistent with improving business conditions. Performance, however, has been uneven. Mature markets are seeing relatively little growth while emerging markets continue to show a robust expansion. Although oil prices have softened in recent weeks, they remain high against historical averages. In view of this, airlines are responding with a very cautious approach to capacity management,” said Tony Tyler, IATA Director General and CEO.impact of US budget cuts is yet to be fully measured,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
International Passenger Markets
March international passenger demand rose 6.0% compared to the year-ago period, with capacity up 3.5%, pushing up load factor 1.8 percentage points to 79.9%. Compared to February, traffic rose 0.4%. The strongest growth occurred in the emerging markets of Latin America and the Middle East.
Domestic markets also experienced strong growth, with traffic up 5.7% in March versus a year ago. However, this masked wide variations among countries, with growth largely driven by China. Capacity rose 3.5% and load factor was 80.9%, up 1.7 percentage points.
“Business confidence levels continue to foreshadow an economic upturn. It is important that governments avoid placing roadblocks to recovery. The flight delays and cancellations inflicted on air travelers to, from and within the US owing to sequestration-related budget cuts had the potential to inflict real damage to the economy if they had been permitted to continue,” said Tyler.
“Fortunately Congress and the Obama Administration put aside partisan political disputes for the good of the economy. But aviation is far too important to be treated as a bargaining chip in political disputes in the first instance. Let’s hope that lesson is well learned. The next challenge is to knock back the $5.5 billion in added taxes and charges in the Administration’s budget proposal, which represent a 29% increase over the $19 billion in fees and taxes that airlines and air travelers paid last year. Under such conditions, the natural ability of aviation connectivity to catalyze economic growth and jobs is compromised,” said Tyler.
ICAO Media Release