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Article Dans Une Revue Safety Année : 2022

Degraded States of Engagement in Air Traffic Control


Safety studies have identified attention as a recurring cause of incidents and accidents in air traffic control. However, little is known of the precise attentional states that lead to degraded ATC performance. Therefore, we surveyed 150 French en route air traffic controllers on the causes of and impacts on perceived cooperation, safety, and performance of seven degraded attentional states from the literature: task-related and task-unrelated mind wandering, mental overload, inattentional deafness and blindness, attentional entropy, and perseveration. Our findings indicated that task- related and task-unrelated mind wandering were the most prevalent but had the least impact on perceived safety. Conversely, inattentional blindness and attentional entropy were less reported but were considered a significant safety concern, while inattentional deafness affected cooperation. Most states were experienced in workload levels consistent with the literature. However, no other factor such as shift work was identified as a cause of these states. Overall, these findings suggest that “attention” is not a specific enough subject for ATC, as attentional issues can occur in various conditions and have different impacts. As far as safety is concerned, inattentional blindness should be the prime target for further research. Neuroergonomics in particular could help develop dynamic countermeasures to mitigate its impact.
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hal-03827295 , version 1 (01-03-2023)



Yannick Migliorini, Jean-Paul Imbert, Raphaëlle Roy, Alex Lafont, Frédéric Dehais. Degraded States of Engagement in Air Traffic Control. Safety, 2022, 8 (19), pp.0. ⟨10.3390/safety8010019⟩. ⟨hal-03827295⟩
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