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.

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Committee on Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation Board on Human-Systems Integration Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

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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. International Standard Book Number-13:  978-0-309-28650-3 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 Spe- cialists in Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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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

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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 v

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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) vi

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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 incor- porated 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 vii

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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 ix

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x REVIEWERS 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.

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Contents ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS xv SUMMARY 1 1 BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW 11 Introduction, 11 Airway Transportation Systems Specialists, 12 Roles and Duties, 14 Origin of Study and Statement of Task, 14 Scope and Committee Approach, 15 Importance of Human-Systems Integration, 17 Structure of This Report, 17 2 WORK ENVIRONMENT CONSIDERATIONS FOR AIRWAY TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS SPECIALISTS 19 Overview, 19 Discipline Types and Staff Substitutions, 21 Evolving Systems and Services, 25 Acknowledged Problem Areas in the ATSS Work Environment, 26 Needs Identified by ATSS Stakeholders, 27 Other Issues That Impact the Workload and Staffing of ATSS Personnel, 30 Needs Identified by Other Stakeholders, 31 Major Drivers Behind ATSS Staffing Needs, 32 The Next Generation Air Transportation System, 32 Aging Workforce and Succession Planning, 33 External Influences, 33 Internal Influences, 34 xi

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xii CONTENTS Other Considerations for an ATSS Staffing Model, 35 Performance Measures, 35 Risk Assessments, 35 Tracking Maintenance Activities, 37 Balancing Budgetary Priorities, 38 Staffing Model Considerations, 38 Implications for Staffing Models, 39 Summary, 40 3 CONSIDERATIONS IN CREATING A STAFFING MODEL 41 Workforce Modeling as Part of a Larger Cycle of Workforce Planning, 41 Value of Practical Models for ATSS Personnel, 43 Conceptual Approach to Modeling Used by the Committee, 44 Comprehensive Study Design Process, 44 Key Model Considerations, 50 Quality Factors, 60 Summary and Criteria for Assessing Modeling, 60 4 FAA APPROACHES TO ESTIMATING STAFFING OF AIRWAY TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS SPECIALISTS 64 History of FAA Modeling Efforts for ATSS Staffing, 65 WSSAS Staffing Model, 65 Tech Ops District Staffing Model, 65 Staffing Approach by Grant Thornton–Led Study Team, 66 Comparison Between Current and Past Models, 67 Findings and Conclusions on WSSAS, 67 Findings and Conclusions on the Tech Ops District Model, 67 Findings and Conclusions on the Grant Thornton Approach, 72 Potential Alternative Modeling Approaches, 73 Other FAA Staffing Models, 73 U.S. Air Force Staffing Models, 74 Other Potentially Relevant Models, 74 A Logical Approach to a New Model for ATSS, 75 Summary and Recommendations, 77 5 IMPLEMENTATION AND SUSTAINABLITILY OF THE STAFFING MODEL 79 Timeline, 79 FAA Staff, 84 Equipment and Other Resources, 85 Funding, 85 Conclusion, 86 REFERENCES 87 APPENDIXES A Committee Biographies 93 B Open Session Speakers 96

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Figures, Tables, and Boxes FIGURES 1-1 FAA air traffic organization, Technical Operations organizational chart, 12 1-2 A conceptual model of human-systems integration, 18 2-1 Overview of the Technical Operations organization, 20 2-2 A mapping of 8,505 of the 66,749 facilities and equipment locations across the NAS, 24 2-3 Hazard assessment matrix, 36 2-4 Reliability centered maintenance, 37 3-1 OPM’s workforce planning cycle, 42 3-2 Steps for successful modeling, 44 3-3 Logical design process: model development phases for comprehensive study, 45 4-1 Conceptual logical relationship between service and staffing level, 76 5-1 Phases of staffing model development and implementation, 80 TABLES 1-1 Stakeholders Identified by the FAA, 16 2-1 Percentage of 2101 Disciplines Represented by Location, 23 3-1 Notional Example: “Location X” Staffing for a Particular Point in Budget Year, 51 4-1 Structure and Evaluation of Current and Proposed Staffing Models for ATSS, 68 xiii

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xiv FIGURES, TABLES, AND BOXES BOXES S-1 Statement of Task, 2 1-1 Statement of Task, 15 3-1 Quality Factors, 61 3-2 Potential Criteria for Model Evaluation, 62

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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 xv

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xvi ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS 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