Next generation ATM systems cannot be implemented in a technological vacuum. The further ahead we look, the greater the likely impact of societal factors on such changes, and how they are prioritised and promoted. The equitable sustainability of travel behaviour is rising on the political agenda in Europe in an unprecedented manner.
This paper examines pilot and controller attitudes towards Continuous Descent Approaches (CDAs). It aims to promote a better understanding of acceptance of change in ATM. The focus is on the psychosocial context and the relationships between perceived societal and system benefits. Behavioural change appeared more correlated with such benefit perceptions in the case of the pilots.
For the first time in the study of ATM implementation, and acceptance of change, this paper incorporates the Seven Stages of Change model, based on the constructs of the Theory of Planned Behaviour. It employs a principal components (factor) analysis, and further explores the intercorrelations of benefit perceptions, known in psychology as the ‘halo effect’. Disbenefit perceptions may break down this effect, it appears.
For implementers of change, this evidence suggests an approach in terms of reinforcing the dominant benefit(s) perceived, for sub-groups within which a halo effect is evident. In the absence of such an effect, perceived disbenefits, such as with respect to workload and capacity, should be off-set against specific, perceived benefits of the change, as far as possible.
This methodology could be equally applied to other stakeholders, from strategic planners to the public. The set of three case studies will be extended beyond CDA trials. A set of concise guidelines will be published with a strong focus on practical advice, in addition to continued work enabling a better understanding of the expected, increasing psychosocial contributions to successful and unsuccessful efforts at ATM innovation and change.