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As the Federal Aviation Administration moves toward the Next  Generation Air

Transportation System (NextGen), new tools and capabilities will be added to Air Traffic

Control (ATC) displays. There is a growing need for standardization among systems both within

and across ATC domains. Standardization allows system developers to avoid “reinventing the

wheel” for each new system or upgrade. It allows them to reuse the lessons they have learned

when developing one system on future systems. Standardization also increases the flexibility of

the overall ATC system by allowing users to move more readily between systems while also

reducing the chance for human error. Finally, increased standardization encourages the use of

human factors guidelines and standards.

Miscommunications may broadly be applied to a range of verbal communications problems ranging from misunderstandings, such as those due to ambiguity, cultural differences, language structure, and so on, to more technical problems, such as microphone "clipping" and over-transmitting of another’s radio signal. Studies indicate that miscommunication is a pervasive problem in air traffic control and, although infrequent when considered as a percentage of daily transactions, nevertheless, has been a causal factor in numerous fatal accidents.


The facts about verbal communication come from many different fields of science. The study of verbal miscommunications in the air traffic system is part of the rapidly expanding field of

human factors.