1994-10-01

A Taxonomic Analysis of Terminal Air Traffic Control/Pilot Communications 942139

Voice communications are crucial to safe and efficient air traffic operations. Controllers are required to use standard phraseology, and pilots are encouraged to use it when talking to controllers. Incomplete or inaccurate communications were implicated in mishaps such as the Tenerife accident. This research examined the frequency of phraseology deviations in a sample of 5,000 transmissions from 3 terminal facilities. The Aviation Topics-Speech Acts Taxonomy (ATSAT) was used to develop baseline data and analyze controller/pilot communications. Clearance instructions were transmitted most frequently and they contained a higher percentage of deviations from standard phraseology than any other speech act category. Identification of the types of errors typically associated with specific miscommunications could result in implementing new training approaches that ensure a higher compliance with standard procedures and improve standard phraseology usage.

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