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Airside Operations Safety: Understanding the Effects of Human Factors (2022)

Chapter: Chapter 5 - Airside Driver Training

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Airside Driver Training." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Airside Operations Safety: Understanding the Effects of Human Factors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26779.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Airside Driver Training." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Airside Operations Safety: Understanding the Effects of Human Factors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26779.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Airside Driver Training." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Airside Operations Safety: Understanding the Effects of Human Factors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26779.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Airside Driver Training." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Airside Operations Safety: Understanding the Effects of Human Factors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26779.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Airside Driver Training." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Airside Operations Safety: Understanding the Effects of Human Factors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26779.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Airside Driver Training." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Airside Operations Safety: Understanding the Effects of Human Factors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26779.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Airside Driver Training." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Airside Operations Safety: Understanding the Effects of Human Factors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26779.
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29   Airside Driver Training 5.1 Researching Current Training The data behind V/PDs and where the risks lay for airports is presented in Chapter 3 and Appendix A. With most V/PDs involving a vehicle and therefore a driver, it follows that exam- ining airside driver training could determine effective practices currently in place and provide opportunities to adjust driver training techniques to better mitigate the human factors risks behind V/PDs. The research team examined the driver training manuals of 10 airports (six being large-hub airports) covering a wide geographic spread. The airports were as follows: • Coeur d’Alene (COE) • Dallas–Fort Worth International (DFW) • Erie International (ERI) • Fort Wayne International (FWA) • Honolulu International (HNL) • Los Angeles International (LAX) • Memphis International (MEM) • Miami International (MIA) • Minneapolis–Saint Paul International (MSP) • Philadelphia International (PHL) In addition to the manuals, a representative sample of widely used computer-based training programs was also examined. The goals of the reviews were to determine what information was presented to the prospective airside drivers that addressed the human factors that influence safety, and to identify gaps in training based on the V/PD data and risk analyses performed. 5.1.1 Focus of Current Training A driving force behind airside driver training programs is achieving and maintaining FAA certification requirements. Safe driving practices are a byproduct of this approach. Airport rules and regulations, airfield markings and signage, and airside driving procedures are developed to standardize practices and erect defenses to a V/PD occurring. What are often left out of the training programs is an explanation of the human’s role in the system and an effort to heighten awareness of how human performance can and occasionally will find the holes in the defenses. 5.1.2 Identifying Effective Practices and Gaps This chapter presents the results of reviews done on a variety of driver training programs and discusses additional approaches to training that could fill gaps in addressing the human C H A P T E R   5

30 Airside Operations Safety: Understanding the Effects of Human Factors factors identified in the data analysis. In several cases, specific recommendations are offered for consideration, and technologies and approaches available to the industry are addressed. 5.2 Current Airside Driving Training Review Airside driving is a topic that most certificated airports in the United States view from the perspective of compliance with FAA standards. This was consistent across the review of the airport programs and the interviews with airport representatives. The staff interviewed repre- sented the operations teams, which are responsible for Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 139 compliance. While the airports may have used slightly different methods to meet the standards and requirements for training (for example, related to airfield specifics), there was little evidence of airports going beyond established federal expectations and innovating in the area of airside driver training. There was a consistent standard exhibited by all airport programs for the requirement for a driver to hold a valid, state-issued driver’s license. 5.2.1 Driver Certification and Testing Requirements Table 5-1 provides information on how the airports administered their training programs and the periodicity for refresher training. The table presents key items covered for testing and certi fication along with specific requirements for the badge holders to retain their driving badge. Table 5-1 provides insight into how often airfield drivers are required (according to the pub- lished manuals) to review key driver knowledge elements. The data in the table are broken down according to driving certification requirements and airfield badging requirements (see bullets that follow). Of note is HNL, which has a 4-year renewal period and no movement area There was little evidence of airports going beyond established federal expectations and innovating airside driver training. Driver training programs do not contain much, if any, human factors training or awareness. Airport Certification Badge Requirements A O A N on -M ov em en t M ov em en t D ur at io n R eq ui re m en t R et ra in in g R et es tin g COE Yes Yes Yes 1 year Yes Yes Yes FWA Yes No Yes 1 year Yes Yes Yes ERI Yes Yes Yes 1 year Yes Yes No HNL Yes Yes No 4 years Yes No Yes DFW Yes Yes Yes 2 years Yes Yes Yes MSP Yes Yes Yes 1 year Yes Yes Yes PHL Yes No Yes 1 year Yes Yes No MIA Yes No Yes 1 year (movement) 2 years (non-movement) Yes Yes Yes LAX Yes Yes Yes 1 year Yes Yes Yes MEM Yes No Yes 1 year Yes Yes Yes PHL IET Yes No Yes 6 months Yes Yes Yes Notes: AOA = airport operations area, IET = Interactive Employee Training Center. Table 5-1. Comparison of reviewed airport airside driving training programs.

Airside Driver Training 31   certification. HNL does not allow non-airport employees to drive on movement areas. All driver training is limited to non-movement areas with exception of airport staff, such as operations, maintenance, and ARFF. • Certification: These columns reflect whether the airport requires separate training and certi- fication for drivers to be authorized to operate vehicles in the airport operations area (AOA), the non-movement area, and the movement area, along with the length of time the certification is valid. For those airports without a separate non-movement areas certificate, the AOA training and certification process results in authorization to operate on any airport surface apart from the movement area. • Badge Requirements: These columns reflect whether the airport includes airfield driver certification as part of its AOA and secure area badging process (all airports reviewed do), whether the driver must review the material included in the driver training modules (either classroom or computer-based materials), and whether each driver is retested following the completion of the training. 5.2.2 Testing to Standards The standards on which all the airports reviewed train and test their drivers are published in Advisory Circular 150/5210-20A: Ground Vehicle Operations to include Taxiing or Towing an Aircraft on Airports (FAA, 2015b), and supplemented for ease of use and reading by the FAA Guide to Ground Vehicle Operations: A Comprehensive Guide to Safe Driving on the Airport Surface (FAA, n.d.). Airside driver training programs for each airport are developed to prepare drivers to not only comply with FAA standards, but to ensure that drivers are able to apply those standards and operate safely on their own airport surfaces. 5.2.3 Testing to Specific Areas of Knowledge When comparing the published training programs for the airports, it was discovered that each airport required drivers to pass a knowledge test and a practical driving test. Generally, applicants were educated in the following areas: • Airport diagrams and configurations • Definitions (e.g., what is a runway incursion, what is a safety area) • Airfield markings • Airfield signage and lighting • Proper ATC communications. (However, it was noted that most badge holders with driving privileges are limited to non-AOA surfaces. Therefore, those without movement area driving privileges were not trained in ATC communications.) Some characteristics of the training programs are displayed in Table 5-2. 5.2.4 Preventing Violations The requirements of the driving training programs focused on drivers knowing and abiding by the rules. In other words, and from an HFACS perspective, the programs were designed to prevent violations. The programs did not contain much if any human factors training or aware- ness. The lack of human factors training standards is attributed to the fact that human factors are not an ingrained part of airport operations culture. Almost all the interviews revealed that this topic was either not thought of at all or was only an afterthought.

32 Airside Operations Safety: Understanding the Effects of Human Factors 5.3 Modifying Airside Driver Training to Address Decision Errors Based on the analysis performed on the data, driver training should focus on two aspects that influence decision errors and thus the potential for a V/PD: communications and SA. From an HFACS perspective, the communications aspect is highlighted by the fact that 32% of the deci- sion error–coded events included CCP (per Chapter 3, CCP is communications, coordination, and planning) as a second-level contributing factor. SA is a bit more complicated to address when viewing it from a human factors or causal perspective. As discussed in Chapter 2, SA is a complex issue. However, there are approaches to improving the awareness a driver has of sur- rounding activities that training can address to enhance decision making. Another area of knowledge that training can address is cognitive fatigue and its impact on decision making. Fatigue risk management is addressed in Chapter  6. For this discussion, improving communications in driver training programs is addressed first. 5.3.1 Airfield Communications Barriers Given that employees are involved in many methods of communication with the ATC tower, there are barriers to ensuring that messages delivered via radio are clear and understood by all parties. The interviews highlighted some of these barriers, key among them being the lack of confidence speaking on the radio, a lack of proficiency in using the radio, and relying on typical route clearances, which can lead to complacency. These barriers can affect the communication accuracy and understanding of any driver regardless of level of experience. New drivers may lack Airport Unique Characteristics COE For those designated as evaluators and who regularly conduct recurrent practical driver training for the ramp/taxi lane areas, retesting is not required. FWA Training discusses a specific traffic route called the “look and go route.” This is an often-traveled route that crosses portions of taxiways. An agreement exists to minimize radio communications, where vehicle operators do not need to call ground control for permission to drive from a perimeter road to an area of T-hangars, or a specific portion of the ramp area, in any order. ERI Because ERI is a small airport with limited personnel, the training covers proper aircraft marshaling procedures in case a driver needs to marshal an aircraft. HNL Retraining for drivers is conducted every 4 years (as noted earlier, non-movement area only for non-airport employees). DFW Training introduces the certified movement area escort endorsement, which allows a driver to drive a vehicle unescorted in authorized areas of the non-movement and movement areas in support of a construction project. MSP Training includes a vehicle diagram showing drivers what an airfield vehicle should look like, as well as structural requirements and insurance liability information. PHL Recurrent training for movement area drivers is conducted every 6 months for those drivers in the IET-Movement Area Driver Training Program, and every 12 months for the formal classroom/instructional training required for drivers. The IET-movement area program is targeted to those individuals needing to drive on runways and taxiways (e.g., movement areas). MIA Training includes a full script of communications between a tug operator and ground control, and states that the tug operator is the only individual who may speak to ground ATC. LAX The importance of vehicle maintenance is discussed, and the training lays out items such as where to wash vehicles, what vehicle inspections are required, and where drivers can repair their vehicles. MEM The areas of airside driving that most frequently lead to a runway incursion are presented. PHL IET A virtual instructor shows the employees airfield markings, surface structures, and interactive displays. Table 5-2. Airside driver training program elements unique to each airport reviewed.

Airside Driver Training 33   the confidence to effectively use the radio simply due to the lack of experience with it. For drivers of all experience levels who rarely have a need to access the movement area, proficiency may be the most common barrier to effective communications. Very experienced drivers who use a standard route and become accustomed to hearing a specific clearance may become complacent and numb to infrequent clearance variations. 5.3.2 Effective Approaches to Communications Training There are several approaches to communications training that can improve the effectiveness of driver communications on the radio. Techniques of note are: • Practice: Communications practice, where an airport driving trainer plays the role of the air traffic controller; the student practices the communications and is then critiqued by the instructor. • Listening: To become accustomed to the terminology and the pace of the communications, drivers are encouraged to monitor ground radio communications while conducting other work. • Software Simulations: When using the simulation software, the driver can consider what the proper radio call would be and then make the simulated call to see if it is correct. This technique is discussed further in Chapter 7. From a formal driver training point of view, airports may consider the following suggestions for revising their programs to address communications: • Integrate Regular Communications Practice Sessions. Explore the addition of voice commu- nication practices and associated debriefings to the training program. Such practices could be conducted in the field while driving with a partner, in an office setting with an instructor acting as ATC, or through the use of mobile software allowing the driver to practice indepen- dently. Such practice sessions could take as little as 15 minutes. The frequency of the sessions could vary depending on how frequently a driver operates in the movement area; fewer trips to the movement area equal more frequent practice sessions to remain proficient. • Conduct Integrated Training with the FAA Controllers at the Airport. Airports could explore voice communication practices and training in conjunction with ATC controllers working locally. Such training sessions would allow airport drivers to learn from those that communi- cate daily with the radio. This could also give airport employees a window into how controllers are trained in communicating, as well as enhance the environment of cooperation between the FAA tower and the airport. Airport drivers would be able to look for differences and effective techniques that could benefit the airport community and then pass those techniques on to their fellow airside drivers. 5.3.3 SA Enhancement Training Other items that can be addressed in driver training are improving the awareness of drivers as to their position on the airfield, staying abreast of the operations that are going on around them, and knowing how their actions can and do affect those operations. This goes beyond knowing the rules and regulations, and on to the importance of abiding by them. These aspects of airside driving can be grouped under the umbrella of SA. However, SA (or loss of SA) is more problematic when viewed under the HFACS spotlight. Degraded SA, or the loss of it, can become the default human factor in post-incident inves- tigations. After an incident, airport leaders and investigators often are left scratching their Barriers to effective airside communica- tions include: • Lack of confidence speaking on the radio, • Lack of proficiency in using the radio, and • Reliance on typical route clearances, resulting in complacency.

34 Airside Operations Safety: Understanding the Effects of Human Factors collective heads, asking themselves, “Why would someone do that?” The cause is sometimes simply labeled a loss of SA. This may allow everyone to move on, but it also may complicate the development of mitigations to prevent similar events. 5.3.3.1 Determining the Level Where SA Is Degraded When SA loss is correctly identified, it is typically the result of a lack of information, a lack of familiarity with the threat, or a lack of sensory cues. All these factors fall under SA Level 1 – perception (see Chapter 2). Did the person have the necessary information to make a sound decision? What is more problematic when developing solutions is determining whether the person had the ability and experience to properly comprehend the available information (SA Level 2), and then effectively project or foresee the potential outcomes of the decision they were about to make (SA Level 3). Thus, to improve SA in airside personnel and drivers specifically, airports could consider revising airside driver training programs to include (and ensure the quality of) the following: • Sources of Information. Train potential drivers on the available sources of information that provide insight into the location of the driver (e.g., signage, markings, vehicle technologies) and into the current operational activities on the airfield (e.g., radio frequencies and terminology, vehicle technologies). • How Human Factors Influence Perception and Comprehension. Train potential drivers to achieve and maintain proficiency in radio communications, aviation terminology, and airfield layouts and markings. Additionally, educate drivers on the factors that affect understanding and effective execution (e.g., fatigue, decision processes, crew resource management). • Airport and Flight Operations. Educate potential drivers on the basics of flight operations to enhance the ability to build a mental picture of the current environment and better estimate near-term changes. 5.4 Driver Training Revision Suggestions Before airport leaders decide how to best revise driver training programs to address human factors more effectively, consideration should be given to the best way to educate potential drivers, not only those from their own staff but also (keeping in mind that they control the driver training for all vehicle operators) employees, tenants, and contractors. The badging and driver training processes are common and effective means by which to provide this training and orientation; however, different people learn in different ways, and some of the concepts and skills may best be learned outside of the classroom. With methods of learning established, airports can then consider modifications to training content and how training is administered. Content should address the human factors of greatest concern to each individual airport and take into account the size and complexity of the operation. If a focused approach is taken, an effective and efficient result can be more easily achieved. 5.4.1 Training Course Content The following topic areas are suggested to include in classroom or computer-based training to raise awareness and serve as a knowledge base for human factors risk mitigations implemented by the airport. 5.4.1.1 Overview of Human Factors Include in driver training content an overarching training module that presents information on the human factors causes that underlie airfield incidents, including V/PDs. Also include a

Airside Driver Training 35   definition of human factors, a discussion of decision errors and violations, and the levels of risk associated with human performance components. Material for this overview can be found in Chapter 2, Chapter 3, and Appendix A. 5.4.1.2 Decision-Making Process and Skills A module on decision making would benefit driver training and might include how to make decisions, models for decision making, specific case studies for decision making, and how the process typically breaks down. Reference material that could be used in such a decision-making training module is described in Chapter 2. 5.4.1.3 Communications In addition to topics currently covered in driver training programs (e.g., terminology, phrase- ology, and proper radio procedures to use while driving on the airfield), including instruction on the model for effective communications, case studies that illustrate instances where com- munication breakdowns have led to incidents and V/PDs, and the causes of communication breakdowns can benefit the safety of airfield operations. Material for this overview can be found in Chapter 2 and Appendix A. 5.4.1.4 Fatigue and Fatigue Risk Management Research consistently shows links between cognitive fatigue and decision errors. With this in mind, providing airside drivers and ramp personnel a background in fatigue and FRM can enhance airfield safety. Training in this area could include the definition of fatigue, the differences between restricted sleep and sleep deprivation, the relationship between cognitive performance while fatigued and performance while intoxicated, and effective techniques to enhance the quality of sleep. Material for this overview can be found in Chapter 6. 5.4.2 Practical Training There are topics that are best addressed via practical or hands-on training. This training will give potential drivers practice and experience, either by introducing the topics and techniques or reinforcing what is taught in the classroom or on a computer. 5.4.2.1 Airfield Familiarization Airfield familiarization is an important element of current driver training programs. This knowledge area can be enhanced by including practical training on the causes of distraction, focused attention or tunnel vision, crew resource management techniques, and vehicle tech- nologies. Technologies such as virtual reality simulations akin to video gaming as well as tailored driving simulators can supplement airfield familiarization training. Such technology solutions are discussed in Chapter 7. 5.4.2.2 Communications Practice Conducting initial as well as recurring communications training can be accomplished on the airfield in cooperation with ATC, in a classroom setting during one-on-one simulated exchanges with an instructor, or by using software programs that allow for individual practice. Software solutions are discussed in Chapter 7. Many airports, particularly those in larger metropolitan areas, employ individuals for whom English is a second language. This results in certain key communications being lost in translation and adds to airside safety risk. Given that all tower communications are in English, mentoring employees through practice to demonstrate the importance of slowing down and simplifying their speech might go a long way to help bridge language gaps.

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Despite dedicated efforts involving changes in technologies and procedures, the number of annual runway incursions in the United States has shown little to no improvement.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program's ACRP Research Report 246: Airside Operations Safety: Understanding the Effects of Human Factors provides a review of the current state of human factors research and the related resources that are available to U.S. airport operations personnel.

Supplemental to the report are an Executive Summary (to be released soon) and a White Paper.

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