We Guide You Home

Human Performance

Aaron Katz is the current National Human Performance Rep.  

Background:  The Human Performance Representative is the NATCA liaison to AJI 155, the FAA Human Performance office. The office is comprised of a group manager (currently Jason Demagalski) and 5 scientists (the office only has two currently on board) with expertise in a wide variety of fields. The three main areas of focus are Human Factors, Health and Well-Being and Fatigue.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all field research projects are on hold, as many other projects in the NAS are.  

New Human Performance Initiative 

Background:   The Human Performance Team was involved in the creation of the Fully Charged initiative. For several years, the joint program has gone under-utilized. It has been decided that a new initiative should be created to replace Fully Charged. However, unlike Fully Charged, the new initiative will serve as a more complete Human Performance Portal. The new portal will serve as an educational vehicle that members can enjoy “one stop shopping” for all human performance related items. 

This month has been spent mostly continuing work on this project. Due to the scale, open avenues and impact, it will be taking up most of the time spent each month for the time being. The team is discussing and strategizing all of the current channels, that an increase in HP application and education can benefit the workforce. Once all the potential ideas and avenues have been vetted out, each member of the team will undertake a specific portion of the initiative to develop. The goal is to have the largest positive impact as possible on virtually all facets of daily life in our profession.  

Internal HP Team Restructure  

Background:  There has been some ongoing discussion around moving the HP Team to AJI 3 and adding several new specialists.   

The HP Team is now under AJI3. The general sense is that there is a growing interest from AJI leadership that Human Performance needs to have a greater emphasis in most aspects of safety. Because of this, we have been given the green light to add five (5) new team members. Our goal is to add individuals that have a wide array of expertise, so that we can have people focusing all of their attention where their strengths lie. At a minimum, we hope to add a dedicated fatigue scientist (the current one had to remain in AJI1 to work on UAS), as well as subject experts in technical design as well as health and well-being. While the HR process continues to be arduous, we hope to have these additional resources as soon as possible.  

Safety Culture 

Background:   One of the emphasis items for AJI3 was to bring about a more robust safety culture within the NAS. Euro Control (One of Europe’s Air Navigation Service Providers) has a well-established model for analyzing and identifying steps to improving the existing safety culture.  

Dr. Rachel Seely of the HP team has been tasked with focusing most of her time on improving the safety culture within the ATO. Dr Seely and I did some initial work in 2019 on safety culture, using Portland Tower (PDX)/Portland Tracon (P80) as test of the model. While the results are still very much a work in progress (the pandemic has derailed much of what we had hoped to accomplish), we hope to be able to develop a model tailored to the unique needs of the NAS. The product will be developed now, but unable to be properly implemented until the end of the pandemic.  

Standing modes of conducting business 

During the quarantine, the team conducts 2-3 group meeting a week via the zoom platform. Emails and phone calls also occ 

Jump to top of page