Staffing Standards for Aviation Safety Inspectors
William C. Howell and Susan B. Van Hemel, Editors
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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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-04-C-00040 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Federal Aviation Administration. 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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Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2007). Staffing Standards for Aviation Safety Inspectors. Committee on Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Safety Inspector Staffing Standards. William C. Howell and Susan B. Van Hemel, editors. Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
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. Wm. A. Wulf 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. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.
COMMITTEE ON FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION AVIATION SAFETY INSPECTOR STAFFING STANDARDS
WILLIAM C. HOWELL (Chair),
Applied Psychology Program, Arizona State University East, Tempe
PAUL F. HOGAN,
The Lewin Group, Inc., Falls Church, VA
K. RONALD LAUGHERY, Jr.,
Alion Science and Technology Corporation, Boulder, CO
JAMES L. OUTTZ,
Outtz and Associates, Washington, DC
ANN MARIE RYAN,
Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing
JUAN I. SANCHEZ,
Department of Management and International Business, College of Business Administration, Florida International University, Miami
NADINE B. SARTER,
Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
WILLIAM J. STRICKLAND,
Workforce Analysis and Training Systems Division, Human Resources Research Organization, Alexandria, VA
NANCY T. TIPPINS,
Selection Practice Group, Valtera, Greenville, SC
SUSAN B. VAN HEMEL, Study Director
NANCY HUMPHREY, Senior Staff Officer,
Transportation Research Board Liaison
JESSICA G. MARTINEZ, Senior Program Assistant (January-April 2005)
ALLISON B. BRANTLEY, Senior Program Assistant (April-June, 2005)
KRISTIN E. MARTIN, Senior Program Assistant (July 2005-completion)
BOARD ON BEHAVIORAL, COGNITIVE, AND SENSORY SCIENCES
PHILIP E. RUBIN (Chair),
Haskins Laboratories, Department of Surgery, Yale University
LINDA M. BARTOSHUK,
Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville
SUSAN E. CAREY,
Department of Psychology, Harvard University
JOHN A. FEREJOHN,
Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
LILA R. GLEITMAN,
Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
ARIE W. KRUGLANSKI,
Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park
RICHARD E. NISBETT,
Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
VALERIE F. REYNA,
Department of Human Development, Cornell University
LISA M. SAVAGE,
Department of Psychology, SUNY Binghamton
BRIAN A. WANDELL,
Department of Psychology, Stanford University
J. FRANK YATES,
Judgment and Decision Laboratory, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
CHRISTINE R. HARTEL, Director
This report is the result of one and one-half years of effort by a committee of nine experts. The study was performed in response to a congressional mandate and a contract from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The task, in short, was to study the current and past processes used by the FAA to determine their staffing needs for aviation safety inspectors and to provide guidance on ways to improve the staffing process. The committee gathered regulatory materials, reports, and other documentation from the FAA and other sources, listened to briefings and presentations by FAA headquarters managers and many stakeholders from the aviation industry and related communities, interviewed aviation safety inspectors (ASIs) and managers at their job sites, and reviewed the literature on staffing methodology relevant to the FAA’s situation. Using all of this information and its combined expertise, the committee has attempted to provide the FAA with its best advice on methods for determining the need for ASI staffing.
Members of the study committee, volunteers selected from several academic and professional practice specialties, found the project an interesting and stimulating opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration. They cooperated in work groups, learned each other’s technical languages, and exemplified in their work the collegial qualities that are among the National Academies’ unique strengths. The Academies are grateful to them for their hard work, expertise, and good humor.
On behalf of the committee I would like to express my appreciation to the many other people who contributed to this project. At FAA headquar-
ters, Robert Caldwell, Kevin Iacobacci, Regenia Ramsey-Outlaw, Rosanne Marion, and Kay Kennedy-Roberts of Flight Standards Service (AFS) 160, Deane Hausler of Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) 530, and James Ballough, AFS director, provided help, including briefings, documentation, coordination in support of our field visits, and referrals to other information sources. At FAA field offices, 39 ASIs and managers took time to talk with committee members about their jobs and about staffing issues. Stakeholders from many organizations in the aviation industry came to our sessions to present information to the committee and patiently answered our many questions (participants are listed in Chapter 1). Linda Goodrich, Region 4 vice president for the Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS) union, was especially generous with her help. At the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Gerald Dillingham, Teresa Spisak, James Ratzenberger, and others took time to discuss with the committee staff the studies relevant to ASI staffing under way at GAO.
At the National Research Council (NRC), Susan Van Hemel, study director for the project, Christine Hartel, director of the Center for Studies of Behavior and Development, and Jim Jensen, the Academies’ director of congressional and government affairs, provided critical support for the project. Three senior program assistants, Jessica Martinez, Allison Brantley, and Kristin Martin, provided administrative and logistic support over the course of the study. Kristin Martin performed manuscript preparation and bibliographic tasks as well. The executive office reports staff of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, especially Christine McShane and Yvonne Wise, provided valuable help with editing and production of the report. Kirsten Sampson Snyder managed the report review process. The Transportation Research Board (TRB) had a consulting role in the study. Nancy Humphrey served as liaison from the TRB, contributing valuable ideas and providing helpful comments on the draft report.
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 Report Review Committee of the NRC. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the 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 thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Marvin S. Cohen, Office of the President, Cognitive
Technologies, Inc., Arlington VA; Kurt Kraiger, Department of Psychology, Colorado State University; John K. Lauber, Office of Product Safety, Airbus SAS, Blagnac, France; John F. Lockett III, Human Research and Engineering Directorate, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD; Benjamin Schneider, Office of Senior Research Fellows, Valtera Corporation, La Jolla, CA; Daniel Serfaty, Office of the President, Aptima, Inc., Woburn, MA; Philip J. Smith, Institute for Ergonomics, The Ohio State University.
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 Paul R. Sackett, of the University of Minnesota, and Alexander H. Flax, consultant. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for making sure that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all reviewers’ comments were considered carefully. Responsibility for the final content of this report, however, rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
William C. Howell, Chair
Committee on Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Safety Inspector Staffing Standards