Human Interface Criteria for Flight Deck Surface Operations Displays
Following a number of high-visibility collisions between aircraft on the airport surface, overall taxi operations have been brought under greater scrutiny. In addition, observation of taxi operations and the results of associated research programs have revealed that the efficiency of taxi operations could be significantly improved with available technologies and by applying a human centered design approach. Surface operations displays have been tested in prototype form and a number of manufacturers are moving toward product definition. This document provides guidance on the design of elements, which may be part of surface operations displays whose objectives would be to enhance safety and to improve overall efficiency of aircraft operations on the airport surface. Such efficiency increases should be realized not only in day-to-day operations, but should also be manifested in training for surface operations.
This document sets forth functional and design recommendations concerning the human factors issues and criteria for flight deck display of surface operations information. It is assumed that the system will have a human centered design based on the “lessons learned” from past systems, with simple operation, consistent performance, and intuitive use, without negative transfer of information. The visual and aural characteristics are covered for both the alerting components and surface operations display components. The display system may contain any one or a combination of these components. Although the system functionality assumed for this document exemplifies fixed-wing aircraft implementation, the recommendations do not preclude other aircraft types. The recommendations contained in this document address both near- and far-term technology directed toward providing information used during surface operations, although the present version remains primarily focused on near-term applications. Since this type of document provides only “best practice” recommendations, the guidance is provided in the form of “should” statements as opposed to the “shall” statements that appear in standards and requirements types of documents.
The assumptions about the system that guided and bounded the recommendations contained in this document include:
The system is a flight-deck-based system displaying surface operations information to the flight crew in visibility conditions down to and including CAT IIIb or under a Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (SMGCS)
When available, multiple sources of data will be used to provide the flight crew with the best available information
The system will be capable of worldwide operation
At least initially, paper and/or electronic versions of the surface charts will still exist and be available to the flight crew
There will be pilot-in-the-loop/manual involvement in any path changes
Information will be accessible by appropriate flight crew members
The system will be based on the English language, but other languages may be considered
The system will be available full time during all ground operations
Ground operations are defined as the time from the gate to 1000 feet AGL or the departure end of the runway on departure and from 1000 feet AGL to the gate on approach.
The display function may be stand alone or part of a multi-function display
Initial design will provide for upgradeability and expansion
The human interface will be integrated with other display functions and will not interfere with any other flight deck functions
In-flight planning displays of surface information will be addressed by other standards development efforts focused on electronic charting
Whenever possible, information will be layered according to pre-selected priorities
The figures in this document are derived from ongoing experimental programs and are used as illustrative samples only.