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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18357.
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Assessment of Staffing Needs of
Systems Specialists in Aviation

Committee on Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation

Board on Human-Systems Integration

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.

www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18357.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by Contract No. DTFAWA-12-P-00276 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Federal Aviation Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

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International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-28650-6

Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2013 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested citation: National Research Council. 2013. Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18357.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18357.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18357.
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COMMITTEE ON STAFFING NEEDS OF SYSTEMS SPECIALISTS IN AVIATION

NANCY T. TIPPINS (Chair), Valtera, Corporate Executive Board, Greenville, SC

COLIN G. DRURY, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Buffalo, State University of New York

T. MARK HARRISON (NAS), Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles

CHRISTOPHER HART, National Transportation Safety Board, Washington DC

PAUL F. HOGAN, Federal National Security and Emergency Preparedness, The Lewin Group, VA

BRIAN NORMAN, Compass Manpower Experts, LLC, San Antonio, TX

TONYA L. SMITH-JACKSON, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University

WILLIAM J. STRICKLAND, Human Resources Research Organization, Alexandria, VA

ELMORE M. WIGFALL, (Retired) Federal Aviation Administration, Los Angeles, CA

Staff

DANIEL E.J. TALMAGE, JR., Study Director

JEANNE C. RIVARD, Senior Program Officer

ELIZABETH T. CADY, Program Officer

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18357.
×

BOARD ON HUMAN-SYSTEMS INTEGRATION

NANCY J. COOKE (Chair), College of Technology and Innovation and Department of Biomedical Informatics, Arizona State University

ELLEN J. BASS, College of Information Science and Technology and College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University

PASCALE CARAYON, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement, University of Wisconsin–Madison

MARY (MISSY) CUMMINGS, Aeronautics and Astronautics Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

SARA J. CZAJA, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Industrial Engineering, University of Miami

FRANCIS (FRANK) T. DURSO, School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology

ANDREW S. IMADA, A.S. Imada and Associates, Carmichael, CA

KARL S. PISTER (NAE), University of California, Berkeley (Emeritus)

DAVID REMPEL, School of Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

MATTHEW RIZZO, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa

BARBARA SILVERSTEIN, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, Olympia, WA

DAVID H. WEGMAN, Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts at Lowell (Emeritus)

HOWARD M. WEISS, School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology

Staff

BARBARA A. WANCHISEN, Board Director

TOBY M. WARDEN, Associate Board Director

JATRYCE JACKSON, Program Associate

MOSES JACKSON, Program Associate (prior to August 2012)

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18357.
×

Preface

In January 2012, Congress mandated that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ask the National Research Council (NRC) to review and report back on three areas of the FAA: A staffing model for Airway Transportation Systems Specialists (ATSS), a review of the air traffic controllers model, and a study on NextGen, the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System. This first report focuses on ATSS, the FAA employees who maintain and certify the equipment of the National Airspace System (NAS). The report reviews various approaches to establishing staffing levels and the variables that should be incorporated in the development of a model to assist FAA management in correctly establishing staffing levels and allocating the right number of workers to maintain the NAS safely and efficiently.

I wish to express my appreciation to the members of the committee for their diligent and dedicated contributions to the study and to the preparation of this report within an ambitious time frame. The committee’s diverse expertise and experience contributed greatly to the broad perspective that is incorporated in this report. The committee is also grateful to the FAA as well as the representatives of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists for their active participation throughout the study. The committee cannot sufficiently thank the NRC staff members—Barbara Wanchisen, Toby Warden, Jeanne Rivard, Daniel Talmage, Cherie Chauvin, Tina Winters, Elizabeth Cady, and Renée Wilson-Gaines—for their dedication to the study and to the preparation of this report. We would also like to thank Manu Sharma for her administrative support throughout the study process. And finally we thank the executive office reports staff of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, especially Robert Katt (consultant editor), who provided valuable help with editing the report, and Kirsten Sampson Snyder, who managed the report review process. Without the NRC’s guidance and wise counsel, the committee’s job would have been even more difficult if not impossible.

Nancy T. Tippins, Chair
Committee on Staffing Needs
of Systems Specialists in Aviation

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18357.
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Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Ellen J. Bass, College of Information Science and Technology and College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University

Raymond E. Conley, Manpower, Personnel, and Training Program, RAND Project AIR FORCE, Arlington, VA

Gene T. Crabtree, Jr., (Retired) Technical Operations, Federal Aviation Administration

R. John Hansman (NAE), MIT International Center for Air Transportation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Kurt Kraiger, Center for Organizational Excellence, Department of Psychology, Colorado State University

Leif E. Peterson, Advanced HR Concepts & Solutions, LLC, Beavercreek, OH

Karlene H. Roberts, Haas School of Business and Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, University of California, Berkeley

Juan I. Sanchez, Department of Management and International Business, Florida International University

Thomas B. Sheridan (NAE), Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Emeritus)

Philip J. Smith, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, The Ohio State University

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18357.
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Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by the monitor, Wesley L. Harris (NAE), Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and associate provost, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and coordinator Jeremiah A. Barondess (IOM), president emeritus and scholar in residence, New York Academy of Medicine. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18357.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18357.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18357.
×

Acronyms and Abbreviations

ADS-B Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast
AFL-CIO American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations
AFMS Air Force Manpower Standards
ARSR Air Route Surveillance Radar
ARTCC Air Route Traffic Control Center
ASR Airport Surveillance Radar
ASTARS AVS Staffing Tool and Reporting System
ATC Air Traffic Control
ATCBI Air Traffic Control Beacon Interrogators
ATSS Airway Transportation Systems Specialists
AVS Office of Aviation Safety
   
CMMS Computerized Maintenance Management Software
   
DME Distance Measuring Equipment
   
ESU Environmental Support Unit
   
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FSEP Facility, Service, and Equipment Profile
FTE full-time equivalent
FY fiscal year
   
GNAS General National Airspace System
GNSS Global Navigation Satellite System
   
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18357.
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HSI human-systems integration
   
ILS Instrument Landing System
   
LCOM Logistics Composite Model
LDR Labor Distribution Reporting
   
MIT Miles-in-Trail
MON Minimum Operational Network (of VORs)
   
NAS National Airspace System
NAVAID navigational aid
NextGen Next Generation Air Transportation System
   
OCC Operations Control Center
OJT on-the-job training
OPM Office of Personnel Management
   
PASS Professional Aviation Safety Specialist
PFD personal, fatigue, and delay (time)
PFF Precommission Facility File
POD process-oriented description
   
RMLS Remote Monitoring and Logging System
RMM Remote Maintenance Monitoring
   
SOC Service Operations Center
SOC/OCC Service Operations Center/Operations Control Center
SSC System Support Center
   
TRACON Terminal Radar Approach Control
   
VOR VHF Omnidirectional Range
VOR/DME VHF Omnidirectional Range/Distance Measuring Equipment
VV&A verification, validation, and acceptance
   
WBS work breakdown structure
WSSAS Windows Staffing Standards Analysis System
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Within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Airway Transportation System Specialists ATSS) maintain and certify the equipment in the National Airspace System (NAS).In fiscal year 2012, Technical Operations had a budget of $1.7B. Thus, Technical Operations includes approximately 19 percent of the total FAA employees and less than 12 percent of the $15.9 billion total FAA budget. Technical Operations comprises ATSS workers at five different types of Air Traffic Control (ATC) facilities: (1) Air Route Traffic Control Centers, also known as En Route Centers, track aircraft once they travel beyond the terminal airspace and reach cruising altitude; they include Service Operations Centers that coordinate work and monitor equipment. (2) Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities control air traffic as aircraft ascend from and descend to airports, generally covering a radius of about 40 miles around the primary airport; a TRACON facility also includes a Service Operations Center. (3) Core Airports, also called Operational Evolution Partnership airports, are the nation's busiest airports. (4) The General National Airspace System (GNAS) includes the facilities located outside the larger airport locations, including rural airports and equipment not based at any airport. (5) Operations Control Centers are the facilities that coordinate maintenance work and monitor equipment for a Service Area in the United States.

At each facility, the ATSS execute both tasks that are scheduled and predictable and tasks that are stochastic and unpredictable in. These tasks are common across the five ATSS disciplines: (1) Communications, maintaining the systems that allow air traffic controllers and pilots to be in contact throughout the flight; (2) Surveillance and Radar, maintaining the systems that allow air traffic controllers to see the specific locations of all the aircraft in the airspace they are monitoring; (3) Automation, maintaining the systems that allow air traffic controllers to track each aircraft's current and future position, speed, and altitude; (4) Navigation, maintaining the systems that allow pilots to take off, maintain their course, approach, and land their aircraft; and (5) Environmental, maintaining the power, lighting, and heating/air conditioning systems at the ATC facilities. Because the NAS needs to be available and reliable all the time, each of the different equipment systems includes redundancy so an outage can be fixed without disrupting the NAS.

Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation reviews the available information on: (A) the duties of employees in job series 2101 (Airways Transportation Systems Specialist) in the Technical Operations service unit; (B) the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS) union of the AFL-CIO; (C) the present-day staffing models employed by the FAA; (D) any materials already produced by the FAA including a recent gap analysis on staffing requirements; (E) current research on best staffing models for safety; and (F) non-US staffing standards for employees in similar roles.

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