Human centered design in the air traffic control system

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A review of the current air traffic control system is undertaken from the perspective of human centered design, focusing on the development of today's system, the problems in today's system, and the challenges going forward. Today's system evolved around the operators in the system (mainly air traffic controllers and pilots), rather than being designed based on specific engineering analyses. This human centered focus has helped make air transportation remarkably safe, but has also made the air traffic control system somewhat inscrutable. This opaqueness of how the system operates poses significant problems for current attempts to transform the system into its "next generation" with significantly improved capacity. Research advances in human centered computing research required in order for this transformation work to proceed are discussed, specifically advances in computing the safety of complex human-integrated systems, understanding and measuring situation awareness, and visualizations of complex data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Intelligent Manufacturing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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