The ergonomics of flight management systems: fixing holes in the cockpit certification net
Recent air traffic control regulations mandate the installation of computer-based flight management systems in airliners across Europe. Integrating and certifying add-on cockpit systems is a long and costly process, which in its current form cannot meaningfully address ergonomics aspects. Two levels of problems occur: add-on systems carry many "classic" HCI failures, which could easily be addressed with modified certification requirements. Further, adding new technology changes practice, creates new skill and knowledge demands and produces new forms of error, which are more difficult to assess in advance. However, one innovative certification approach for add-on cockpit systems, based on the use of a representative population of user pilots, was found to be promising. This method minimizes the subjective bias of individual pilots in addition to defining pass/fail criteria in an operational environment.
Mechanical Engineering not elsewhere classified