|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : zfw.artcc|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : radar|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Experience||controller radar : 20.2|
controller time certified in position1 : 10
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|ATC Facility||procedure or policy : zfw.artcc|
staffing : zfw.artcc
Since mid-2007; ZFW mgrs have been forcing through a facility reorganization. To date; the process has been woefully mismanaged in many respects. This report covers the forced requirement implemented for mid-shift operations on the byp specialty. Due to a lack of completed training and lack of staffing; the mid shifts on the byp specialty have been worked by 4 controllers on 3 sectors. It was mandatory to 'borrow' controllers from another specialty to have ample staffing for 1 sector (txk-lo/mlu-lo). Since mid-march; a bare minimum of controllers have been certified on enough of the byp mid shift sectors for the FAA to reduce staffing to 3 on 2 sectors. The problem is the mix-and-match grab bag of certifications created; placing controllers in a position to manage this mess. Even worse is the total lack of planning for the mid sector. FAA mgrs decided to combine decod-hi; seavr-lo; txk-lo and mlu-lo on 1 sector. This is a huge piece of jumbled up airspace; covering low altitude activities around mlu and shv; to high altitude activities of sequencing for dfw and very busy overflt responsibilities. The result is that this sector must be worked on such a scale that the majority of traffic is now focused into the top left 20% of the display. Further; 1) management has failed to provide briefings on how the operations of the sector (such as where to combine and how); and 2) failed to create proper video maps and vscs communication maps. The maps currently being used are missing information; have map details on 2 different maps when they should be on 1 map; and have frequencys and landlines scattered on 2 different pages. Again; no briefings were provided and controllers are being asked to figure it out on their own and make it work. The FAA has resorted to this 'find out on your own' style which is dangerous. The FAA remains hush-hush on every activity they undertake; leaves subject matter experts out of the planning process; routinely fails to plan out all aspects of an activity; and eventually resorts to making patchwork efforts to 'just make it work' in order to fulfill some imaginary self-imposed deadlines -- then declaring their plan as successful when nothing bad happens. Of course; we all know that lack of a problem does not indicate success. Even the FAA's own supervisors' force is in the dark on the 'plan;' and can usually provide only general guidance on how this or that should work. Then; they leave the building and the mid shift controllers are left to rely on their own creativity to 'just make things work.' this is a pathetic way to run a safety business.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ZFW CTLR EXPRESSED CONCERN REGARDING A RECENT FACILITY REORGANIZATION EFFORT THAT ALLEGEDLY HAS BEEN MISMANAGED.
Narrative: SINCE MID-2007; ZFW MGRS HAVE BEEN FORCING THROUGH A FACILITY REORGANIZATION. TO DATE; THE PROCESS HAS BEEN WOEFULLY MISMANAGED IN MANY RESPECTS. THIS RPT COVERS THE FORCED REQUIREMENT IMPLEMENTED FOR MID-SHIFT OPS ON THE BYP SPECIALTY. DUE TO A LACK OF COMPLETED TRAINING AND LACK OF STAFFING; THE MID SHIFTS ON THE BYP SPECIALTY HAVE BEEN WORKED BY 4 CTLRS ON 3 SECTORS. IT WAS MANDATORY TO 'BORROW' CTLRS FROM ANOTHER SPECIALTY TO HAVE AMPLE STAFFING FOR 1 SECTOR (TXK-LO/MLU-LO). SINCE MID-MARCH; A BARE MINIMUM OF CTLRS HAVE BEEN CERTIFIED ON ENOUGH OF THE BYP MID SHIFT SECTORS FOR THE FAA TO REDUCE STAFFING TO 3 ON 2 SECTORS. THE PROB IS THE MIX-AND-MATCH GRAB BAG OF CERTIFICATIONS CREATED; PLACING CTLRS IN A POS TO MANAGE THIS MESS. EVEN WORSE IS THE TOTAL LACK OF PLANNING FOR THE MID SECTOR. FAA MGRS DECIDED TO COMBINE DECOD-HI; SEAVR-LO; TXK-LO AND MLU-LO ON 1 SECTOR. THIS IS A HUGE PIECE OF JUMBLED UP AIRSPACE; COVERING LOW ALT ACTIVITIES AROUND MLU AND SHV; TO HIGH ALT ACTIVITIES OF SEQUENCING FOR DFW AND VERY BUSY OVERFLT RESPONSIBILITIES. THE RESULT IS THAT THIS SECTOR MUST BE WORKED ON SUCH A SCALE THAT THE MAJORITY OF TFC IS NOW FOCUSED INTO THE TOP LEFT 20% OF THE DISPLAY. FURTHER; 1) MGMNT HAS FAILED TO PROVIDE BRIEFINGS ON HOW THE OPS OF THE SECTOR (SUCH AS WHERE TO COMBINE AND HOW); AND 2) FAILED TO CREATE PROPER VIDEO MAPS AND VSCS COM MAPS. THE MAPS CURRENTLY BEING USED ARE MISSING INFO; HAVE MAP DETAILS ON 2 DIFFERENT MAPS WHEN THEY SHOULD BE ON 1 MAP; AND HAVE FREQS AND LANDLINES SCATTERED ON 2 DIFFERENT PAGES. AGAIN; NO BRIEFINGS WERE PROVIDED AND CTLRS ARE BEING ASKED TO FIGURE IT OUT ON THEIR OWN AND MAKE IT WORK. THE FAA HAS RESORTED TO THIS 'FIND OUT ON YOUR OWN' STYLE WHICH IS DANGEROUS. THE FAA REMAINS HUSH-HUSH ON EVERY ACTIVITY THEY UNDERTAKE; LEAVES SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS OUT OF THE PLANNING PROCESS; ROUTINELY FAILS TO PLAN OUT ALL ASPECTS OF AN ACTIVITY; AND EVENTUALLY RESORTS TO MAKING PATCHWORK EFFORTS TO 'JUST MAKE IT WORK' IN ORDER TO FULFILL SOME IMAGINARY SELF-IMPOSED DEADLINES -- THEN DECLARING THEIR PLAN AS SUCCESSFUL WHEN NOTHING BAD HAPPENS. OF COURSE; WE ALL KNOW THAT LACK OF A PROB DOES NOT INDICATE SUCCESS. EVEN THE FAA'S OWN SUPVRS' FORCE IS IN THE DARK ON THE 'PLAN;' AND CAN USUALLY PROVIDE ONLY GENERAL GUIDANCE ON HOW THIS OR THAT SHOULD WORK. THEN; THEY LEAVE THE BUILDING AND THE MID SHIFT CTLRS ARE LEFT TO RELY ON THEIR OWN CREATIVITY TO 'JUST MAKE THINGS WORK.' THIS IS A PATHETIC WAY TO RUN A SAFETY BUSINESS.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of May 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.