Adjacent Airspace problems continue to be one of the most commonly reported safety issues in ATSAP. Point Out Coordination is the top causal factor reported for these safety events. The top five contributing factors cited by controllers and ERCs in reports involving point-out coordination problems are:


Controller Expectation Bias - A controller's strong belief or mindset towards a particular outcome based on frequently encountered situations, e.g. “(XXX) climbed better than expected and a point out was missed”.

Controllers realized their action or plan execution turned out inadequate for the situation, e.g., “I need to do better at scanning all the data-blocks even when the traffic is slow.”


“I was working [Sector 1]. The [Sector 2] controller called…saying ‘Reference [N12345], what do you want me to do? He is stuck on top of that slow 37, and we are trying to get him down.’ Having received no APREQ, point out, or handoff prior to this call, I had no idea who that was… I pulled up the limited data-block…I tell the [Sector 2] controller that I have traffic southbound head-on to [N12345]…I ask the [Sector 2] controller which way he will turn [N12345]; he says east….and turn my traffic west to keep them clear of [N12345].…all controllers need to affect the proper coordination in a timely fashion to ensure the safety of aircraft under our control.”

ATSAP 2017

“I issued a radar vector to N12345 and that vector took them into [SECTOR 1] airspace. I thought that vector would have kept them away from [SECTOR 1] airspace but I was wrong. I did not coordinate for a point out and N12345 violated [SECTOR 1] airspace.”

Auditory or visual information misinterpreted, e.g., “The pilot read the altitude back, but I misheard it and thought it was correct.”

Sector/Team coordination breakdown, e.g., “I {radar controller} thought the D-side had accomplished the coordination” or point out with the wrong sector.

Duty Related Distractions

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