|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : rdu|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||other personnel other|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Primary Problem||ATC Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
The FAA in the southern region is proposing a traffic management program for flight services that is expected to be put into effect 2/X/94. This program is designed to transfer various percentages of telephone calls made to automated FSS's in an attempt to balance the workload of flight service specialists at different stations and minimize the time a pilot needs to wait before having his/her call answered. Although the objectives are admirable, the issue of safety is being cast aside in the pursuit of 'efficiency.' flight service specialists are 'area rated' for a specific geographic area. This knowledge allows the specialist to brief a pilot intelligently and ensure that all pertinent safety related information is passed along to the pilot as part of the required pre-flight briefing. The problem that arises when calls are transferred from one station to another, is that flight service specialists are then required to brief pilots through areas for which they have received no area knowledge rating. For long distance flts the short comings of this situation has long been recognized: lack of familiarity with destination WX, airports, available services and NOTAMS. Under the proposed programs specialists will now be completely unfamiliar with the entire route of flight. Given that the bulk of automated flight service's briefings are provided to smaller, GA aircraft within the station's flight plan area, or areas immediately adjoining it, the FAA's proposal puts a very large number of pilots at risk of receiving a less than thorough and complete briefing. Pilots calling for a briefing, instead of contacting a briefer familiar with the specifics of the area, will now be faced with talking to someone who may, or may not, know where their departure point is even located, it's geography, the location of the navaids the pilot plans to use, military operations areas, restr areas, training rtes, control facilities, and the WX typical of the area. And that's only a partial list. Is this doing a service to the pilot? For the simple sake of answering a call more quickly? It certainly does no service to the briefer who is made to look like a fool. The solution to the problem lies in staffing understaffed facilities with specialists trained to do the job.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: RPTR CLAIMS THAT THE FAA IS INSTITUTING A PROGRAM AT FSS FACILITIES TO HAVE EXCESSIVE TELEPHONE CALLS TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER FSS TO REDUCE WORKLOAD AND MAKE BETTER USE OF PERSONNEL.
Narrative: THE FAA IN THE SOUTHERN REGION IS PROPOSING A TFC MGMNT PROGRAM FOR FLT SERVICES THAT IS EXPECTED TO BE PUT INTO EFFECT 2/X/94. THIS PROGRAM IS DESIGNED TO TRANSFER VARIOUS PERCENTAGES OF TELEPHONE CALLS MADE TO AUTOMATED FSS'S IN AN ATTEMPT TO BAL THE WORKLOAD OF FLT SVC SPECIALISTS AT DIFFERENT STATIONS AND MINIMIZE THE TIME A PLT NEEDS TO WAIT BEFORE HAVING HIS/HER CALL ANSWERED. ALTHOUGH THE OBJECTIVES ARE ADMIRABLE, THE ISSUE OF SAFETY IS BEING CAST ASIDE IN THE PURSUIT OF 'EFFICIENCY.' FLT SVC SPECIALISTS ARE 'AREA RATED' FOR A SPECIFIC GEOGRAPHIC AREA. THIS KNOWLEDGE ALLOWS THE SPECIALIST TO BRIEF A PLT INTELLIGENTLY AND ENSURE THAT ALL PERTINENT SAFETY RELATED INFO IS PASSED ALONG TO THE PLT AS PART OF THE REQUIRED PRE-FLT BRIEFING. THE PROB THAT ARISES WHEN CALLS ARE TRANSFERRED FROM ONE STATION TO ANOTHER, IS THAT FLT SVC SPECIALISTS ARE THEN REQUIRED TO BRIEF PLTS THROUGH AREAS FOR WHICH THEY HAVE RECEIVED NO AREA KNOWLEDGE RATING. FOR LONG DISTANCE FLTS THE SHORT COMINGS OF THIS SIT HAS LONG BEEN RECOGNIZED: LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH DEST WX, ARPTS, AVAILABLE SVCS AND NOTAMS. UNDER THE PROPOSED PROGRAMS SPECIALISTS WILL NOW BE COMPLETELY UNFAMILIAR WITH THE ENTIRE RTE OF FLT. GIVEN THAT THE BULK OF AUTOMATED FLT SERVICE'S BRIEFINGS ARE PROVIDED TO SMALLER, GA ACFT WITHIN THE STATION'S FLT PLAN AREA, OR AREAS IMMEDIATELY ADJOINING IT, THE FAA'S PROPOSAL PUTS A VERY LARGE NUMBER OF PLTS AT RISK OF RECEIVING A LESS THAN THOROUGH AND COMPLETE BRIEFING. PLTS CALLING FOR A BRIEFING, INSTEAD OF CONTACTING A BRIEFER FAMILIAR WITH THE SPECIFICS OF THE AREA, WILL NOW BE FACED WITH TALKING TO SOMEONE WHO MAY, OR MAY NOT, KNOW WHERE THEIR DEP POINT IS EVEN LOCATED, IT'S GEOGRAPHY, THE LOCATION OF THE NAVAIDS THE PLT PLANS TO USE, MIL OPS AREAS, RESTR AREAS, TRAINING RTES, CTL FACILITIES, AND THE WX TYPICAL OF THE AREA. AND THAT'S ONLY A PARTIAL LIST. IS THIS DOING A SVC TO THE PLT? FOR THE SIMPLE SAKE OF ANSWERING A CALL MORE QUICKLY? IT CERTAINLY DOES NO SVC TO THE BRIEFER WHO IS MADE TO LOOK LIKE A FOOL. THE SOLUTION TO THE PROB LIES IN STAFFING UNDERSTAFFED FACILITIES WITH SPECIALISTS TRAINED TO DO THE JOB.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.