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Aeronautics, Undergraduate Studies

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The integration of sUAS in commercial airspace is complicated and faces many challenges to ensure a safe and secure incorporation into the National Airspace System (NAS). This research analyzes the interconnectedness between the air traffic controller and the sUAS through HF implications when sUAS enter the NAS. To mitigate negative consequences in the integration, it examined the human performance of the controllers, the sUAS operators, commercial pilots, and the equipment. This study used a quantitative research approach from both the Software Hardware Environment, Liveware, and Liveware (SHELL), and the Swiss Cheese models (SCM) for analysis of UAS sightings that are part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) UAS sightings reports and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Aviation Safety reporting System (ASRS). This identified the HF that could cause human errors during sUAS integration in the NAS. The study found that there is a gap in the knowledge for understanding human error from the controller perspective in the integration of sUAS in the NAS; however, work is being done to mitigate these errors and ensure safe integration for all stakeholders. The study highlighted possible human errors that air traffic controllers could make if further research, education, and training were not conducted to mitigate errors. The study revealed that further collaboration is needed to mitigate Air Traffic Control (ATC) centered human errors. It also recommended that the Safety Management System (SMS) program continue development in sUAS. Finally, it is recommended that research continue by the FAA and NASA with the ASRS and UAS sightings reporting to include the Remote Identification (REMOTE ID) requirements.


Capitol Technology University

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