Thursday, June 21, 2012


Preview Questions:
What myth has the media portrayed about controllers?How can surveys help us to find out about well-being?   What are the implications of globalization for Atc? How can controllers address the problem of the increased workload?

Hello everyone! I'm back! I'm still a little sleepy but it feels great to be back on the lilac page! First - thank you for the many page views. You have inspired me to keep writing. Second, those of you who are having problems with the survey please let me know. Third, I want to make it clear to the media that CONTROLLERS DO NOT GO TO WORK TO SLEEP so please stop portraying us as sleeping. I have been searching for cartoon photos to illustrate some psychological aspects of Atc and most of them send the subliminal message that our job is to sleep. How misleading! 


It is not easy to measure well-being because it is subjective to our individual perception but it is not impossible. The easist method is via an anonymous survey. Another alternative is to ask for volunteers to participate in games. This is a very effective method in workplaces with teams like Atc for example, but it is also costly since the particpants are paid. I hope to try this method one day. The games are indirect ways of testing behaviorisms and group dynamics or social interactions. 

Well-being is subjective. How can we measure it?

Constructing a survey on well-being is a mammoth task. In fact any survey requires research, forethought, imagination and intuition. For this survey, I had to read and read and read. But it was a good thing because I learned that there are many things that we may take for granted in Atc which may be explained from an organizational psychology approach  and a behavioral economics approach. I used the anecdote of Brer Anancy as an example which we will look at more closely in another post. 
The purpose of this blog is to enlighten us, to educate us about the psychoeconomics of Atc. It is also to encourage us and motivate us to appreciate that globalization is this 21st century watchword and Atc has not been exempted from the global tide of new-age economics.

Effects of Air Liberalization

Air liberalization has sparked off the increase in airline competition, the birth and growth of airline companies,  as well as the expansion of airports. This means that the controller's workload has just increased. Increased workload implies that Air Traffic Management is nothing short of mandatory. Without it, the congestion in the sky and on the ground and the ensuing delay will continue. It is not the fault of the controller that a flight gets delayed so a manager should not waste time trying to insist that the controller could have or should have done A, B, C or D.

Controllers are not responsible for delays

Recruiting more staff, once or twice a year is a practical solution but it is not the best and certainly not the only solution. Inventing machines is a great idea but it is not the answer to the increasing challenges of air traffic. Where then is our solution?
Our resources - our organizational resources and our psychological resources or behavioral elements. Think of it like a reservoir that supplies water to a community or is used as a source of hydro-electric power. In a similar manner we need to consider the state and extent of our resources in Atc. Let us take a look at one of our resources by taking apart the anecdote of Brer Anancy and the pot of stewed beans in our next post....

Controllers need to rely more on their organizational and psychological resources

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