Flight crew cooperation during live controller-pilot datalink communication trials
The empirical study reported here investigated the qualitative effects of the introduction of Controller-Pilot Datalink Communication (CPDLC) on intracockpit work. During a period of 11 months, line operations using datalink communication between the air traffic controller and the aircrafts in controllerpilot datalink Northern European airspace were observed to document the transformations of cockpit communications and coordinative patterns. Among the findings were that controller-pilot datalink easily takes precedence over other cockpit tasks, especially during higher-tempo operations; that controllerpilot datalink changes and erodes some of the redundancy previously inherent in receiving clearances by voice communication, and that it blurs the roles of pilot-flying and pilot-not-flying. In addition, the interface for controller-pilot datalink messages can interfere with the presentation of other flight-related data. Carriers wishing to introduce controller-pilot datalink need to carefully consider how to adapt cockpit procedures and pilot roles to datalink communication, in order to ensure that previously existing communication redundancy is not eroded away.
Journal of Human Factors and Aerospace Safety
Aircraft Performance and Flight Control Systems