Exploring non-technical miscommunication in vessel traffic service operation
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2013

Vessel traffic services (VTS) are maritime traffic monitoring systems used in port approaches, confined or congested waters. VTS operators (VTSOs) monitor a specific geographical area and support and direct ships that sail through the area, primarily making the navigating officer or pilot of each ship aware of the current traffic situation, local weather and geographical conditions. We used an interactive mid-fidelity simulation as a knowledge eliciting tool to explore the work situation of VTSOs. During the simulation, VTSOs from a VTS centre in Sweden ran a scenario based on a normal traffic situation in their local fairway. Results indicate that the VTSOs, even though they are well aware of crucial events in the fairway, at times choose not to inform navigating officers or pilots of these safety aspects apart from when subject to protocol. The present paper put forward elements behind this form of miscommunication and presents results indicating that the major contributing factor is the VTSOs’ anticipation of negative attitudes between working groups participating in the VTS system and the lack of sufficient regulation with regard to the role and responsibilities of VTSOs.

Applied cognitive task analysis (ACTA)


Vessel Traffic Service (VTS)

Mid-fidelity Simulation


Anders Brödje

Chalmers, Sjöfart och marin teknik, Maritime Operations

Monica Lundh

Chalmers, Sjöfart och marin teknik, Maritime Operations

Johan Jenvald

VSL Systems AB

Joakim Dahlman

Chalmers, Sjöfart och marin teknik, Maritime Operations

Cognition, Technology and Work

1435-5558 (ISSN) 1435-5566 (eISSN)

Vol. 15 3 347-357


Produktionsteknik, arbetsvetenskap och ergonomi


Psykologi (exklusive tillämpad psykologi)


Informations- och kommunikationsteknik





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