In the old days, air traffic control furniture was just like any other office furniture: put a swivel chair in front of the console and call it good. Thankfully, those days are over. While there have been huge advances in office furniture technology in recent years, there are still factors important to air traffic controllers that might not be applicable for other business use. Take a look at what goes into good air traffic control consoles workstations before you invest in the wrong chairs.
Intensive Use Chairs vs. Regular Office Chairs
Most office control room furniture gets used an average of 8-10 hours a day, five days a week. There are exceptions, of course, but that’s the average for most business use. Air traffic controller centers, on the other hand, are online 24/7, and the furniture gets used each of those 24 hours, every day. We call this intensive use, for obvious reasons.
Air Traffic Control Furniture for Intensive Use Needs Robust Design
Office chairs and other furniture need replacing at regular intervals to prevent breakdown, repairs and discomfort. Replacement is also necessary because frankly, typical office furniture isn’t built to last. On the other hand, intensive use furniture, like air traffic control center chairs, must be robust and durable to withstand constant use. When in the market for the right furniture, appropriate design and sturdy materials are important considerations. You don’t want to turn around and buy new ones again in a few years due to breakage and breakdown.
Comfort Is Critical in Air Traffic Control Furniture
The operators who keep watch over the friendly skies play a critical role in the safety of the millions of people who travel by plane every day. Their comfort is vital to their effectiveness. An uncomfortable chair with no ergonomic benefits can contribute to errors, poor work performance, decreased job satisfaction and increased reports of work-related injuries, including back and joint pain. Keeping the controllers comfortable is critical to their ability to do their jobs well.
Adjustability is one of the most important considerations when it comes to operator comfort. Remember, there isn’t one chair for each controller; rather, there is one chair for each spot at the console. This means different people use the same chair every day. So it has to be adjustable to fit the needs of each person. A reclining mechanism and height adjustment are necessary. Additionally, lumbar support and armrests help ensure comfort and the ability to sit in the same spot for extended periods of time.
Weight distribution, easy-glide casters, comfortable cushions, adjustability and aesthetic appeal are important factors to consider for workspace furniture. But these factors become much more than just “nice to have” when it comes to air traffic controllers. They must have the right furniture to do their jobs. For air traffic control furniture that fits all your needs, contact Fountainhead Control Rooms by calling 404-990-3748.