NAS (National Airspace System) Human Factors Safety Research Laboratory
Longitudinal validation of ATC selection instruments
Kate Bleckley, Ph.D. (PDF)
Linda Pierce, Ph.D. (PDF)
The Selection Research Team at CAMI is charged with validating and improving the selection process for Air Traffic Control Specialists (ATCS). Our primary focus is the Air Traffic Selection and Training (AT-SAT) test battery for which we have several lines of research.
AT-SAT was concurrently validated using incumbent en route ATCS. It was first used to select ATCS trainees in 2002. Since then, more than 18,000 applicants have taken the test as part of the hiring process. It is our responsibility to determine if AT-SAT is a fair and useful part of the selection process. To do this, we gather data from ATCS trainees as they proceed through training, both at the FAA Academy and at their assigned ATC facilities.
We are also charged with suggesting changes to AT-SAT if our research suggests that those changes would be beneficial to the FAA. Currently, we are examining the predictive utility of measures of metacognition, self-efficacy, and personality. We are also researching additional ways to measure situation awareness. As NextGen develops, we will determine what changes need to be made to AT-SAT so that it will continue to be a vital part of the ATCS selection process for the FAA.