Application of new human factors tool in an air traffic management organization

A.-M. Teperi, A. Leppänen, Leena Norros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: An easy-to-use human factors (HF) tool for air traffic control (ATC) operators was applied in an air traffic management (ATM) organization to ensure ATC operators' learning and commitment to HF, which is seen as a critical factor in improving safety. Methods: ATC operators analyzed the positive and negative causal factors of 3163 incident reports in 2008-2010 using the HF tool in 27 ATC units. We studied the active usage of the HF tool and causal factors of incidents. Users' experiences of the HF tool were assessed using questionnaires with open questions. Results: Although the usage of the tool varied from year to year and across units, it helped ATC units analyze both positive and negative HF-related causal factors of incidents. It also enabled ATC operators to learn about the new field of HF. Discussion: The target ATM organization accepted the new HF tool. The benefits of the tool were its visuality, user-friendliness and the congruence of its contents with existing HF tools. The lessons learnt revealed the need for more extensive training, clearer instructions for the users of the HF tool, and publicizing the actions based on the findings. Conclusions: The application of a new HF tool in the target ATM organization was supported by the fact that it could be included as one of the core processes of ATC work (reporting system). Improving HF competence in the organization is recommended, to further improve ATC work and the safety of ATC operations. The HF tool would support this.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-33
JournalSafety Science
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • air traffic control
  • traffic safety
  • incident investigation
  • reporting systems
  • human factors
  • user experience


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