|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : zme.artcc|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : radar|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Experience||controller radar : 24|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|ATC Facility||procedure or policy : zme.artcc|
staffing : zme.artcc
Safety is being compromised because of reduction of staffing on the XA15 to XI15 shift monday thru friday. The south area consists of seven sectors; three high altitude sectors and four low altitude sectors. They control over-flight traffic as well as inbound traffic to several airports. Management has decided to reduce the staffing on this shift from four controllers to three controllers. The following reasons are why it is unsafe to reduce the shift staffing in the ZME/south area: 1) the area works and provides in-trail spacing for mem arrs from the southwest over the ujm arrival gate. The arrs last until XD30 local and when mem is in a south configuration it is not uncommon for the area to have to hold several of these arrs. Normally; this holding occurs after XC00 local. 2) the area also assumes the responsibilities of two approach controls; jan and mei. These are several scheduled air carriers; air taxies; and GA aircraft that arrival and depart from these terminal areas. When the WX is IFR or MVFR these aircraft require increased handling due to approach clrnces or departure clrnces. 3) the area works departures from mem to the west and south. If WX impacts the mem terminal these departures can be delayed and cause increased workload on the area between XG30 local and XI30 local. 4) the area also works arrs and departures into dfw; atl and iah. If these airports have been in any type of delay during the day their arrs or departures can have a major impact on the area. The WX can impact several of these major hub airports at one time and can cause a dramatic increase of traffic in the area. 5) the area also has two training bases; nmm and cbm; that are located within or next to the confines of the airspace. It is not uncommon for nmm or cbm to start flying training missions during the spring; summer and early fall months prior to XH00 local since both of these MOA's are active at sunrise. At nmm; mei approach does not open until XJ00 local and it is necessary for the area to provide departure and inbound clrnces on the aircraft from nmm. 6) the area also is required to staff two a-sides on the shift. With the increased awareness on the requirement to disseminate WX reports in a timely manner this has added an additional burden on the crew to ensure that the strips are pulled and properly disseminated.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ZME CTLR VOICED CONCERN REGARDING FAC SHIFT STAFFING ALLOCATIONS.
Narrative: SAFETY IS BEING COMPROMISED BECAUSE OF REDUCTION OF STAFFING ON THE XA15 TO XI15 SHIFT MONDAY THRU FRIDAY. THE SOUTH AREA CONSISTS OF SEVEN SECTORS; THREE HIGH ALT SECTORS AND FOUR LOW ALT SECTORS. THEY CONTROL OVER-FLT TFC AS WELL AS INBOUND TFC TO SEVERAL ARPTS. MANAGEMENT HAS DECIDED TO REDUCE THE STAFFING ON THIS SHIFT FROM FOUR CTLRS TO THREE CTLRS. THE FOLLOWING REASONS ARE WHY IT IS UNSAFE TO REDUCE THE SHIFT STAFFING IN THE ZME/SOUTH AREA: 1) THE AREA WORKS AND PROVIDES IN-TRAIL SPACING FOR MEM ARRS FROM THE SOUTHWEST OVER THE UJM ARR GATE. THE ARRS LAST UNTIL XD30 LCL AND WHEN MEM IS IN A SOUTH CONFIGURATION IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR THE AREA TO HAVE TO HOLD SEVERAL OF THESE ARRS. NORMALLY; THIS HOLDING OCCURS AFTER XC00 LCL. 2) THE AREA ALSO ASSUMES THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF TWO APCH CTLS; JAN AND MEI. THESE ARE SEVERAL SCHEDULED AIR CARRIERS; AIR TAXIES; AND GA ACFT THAT ARR AND DEPART FROM THESE TERMINAL AREAS. WHEN THE WX IS IFR OR MVFR THESE ACFT REQUIRE INCREASED HANDLING DUE TO APCH CLRNCES OR DEP CLRNCES. 3) THE AREA WORKS DEPS FROM MEM TO THE WEST AND SOUTH. IF WX IMPACTS THE MEM TERMINAL THESE DEPS CAN BE DELAYED AND CAUSE INCREASED WORKLOAD ON THE AREA BETWEEN XG30 LCL AND XI30 LCL. 4) THE AREA ALSO WORKS ARRS AND DEPS INTO DFW; ATL AND IAH. IF THESE ARPTS HAVE BEEN IN ANY TYPE OF DELAY DURING THE DAY THEIR ARRS OR DEPS CAN HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT ON THE AREA. THE WX CAN IMPACT SEVERAL OF THESE MAJOR HUB ARPTS AT ONE TIME AND CAN CAUSE A DRAMATIC INCREASE OF TFC IN THE AREA. 5) THE AREA ALSO HAS TWO TRAINING BASES; NMM AND CBM; THAT ARE LOCATED WITHIN OR NEXT TO THE CONFINES OF THE AIRSPACE. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR NMM OR CBM TO START FLYING TRAINING MISSIONS DURING THE SPRING; SUMMER AND EARLY FALL MONTHS PRIOR TO XH00 LCL SINCE BOTH OF THESE MOA'S ARE ACTIVE AT SUNRISE. AT NMM; MEI APCH DOES NOT OPEN UNTIL XJ00 LCL AND IT IS NECESSARY FOR THE AREA TO PROVIDE DEP AND INBOUND CLRNCES ON THE ACFT FROM NMM. 6) THE AREA ALSO IS REQUIRED TO STAFF TWO A-SIDES ON THE SHIFT. WITH THE INCREASED AWARENESS ON THE REQUIREMENT TO DISSEMINATE WX RPTS IN A TIMELY MANNER THIS HAS ADDED AN ADDITIONAL BURDEN ON THE CREW TO ENSURE THAT THE STRIPS ARE PULLED AND PROPERLY DISSEMINATED.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 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.