Core commands across airway facilities systems

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Authors: Vicki Ahlstrom
Robert Muldoon

Ahlstrom V., & Muldoon, R. (2003). Core commands across airway facilities systems (DOT/FAA/CT-TN03/15). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.


This study takes a high-level approach to evaluate computer systems without regard to the specific method of interaction. This document analyzes the commands that Airway Facilities (AF) use across different systems and the meanings attributed to the different commands. Human factors researchers collected data on AF systems and equipment, identifying 25 different systems monitored and controlled by AF specialists. Different AF systems had different means of interfacing with the computer (e.g., graphical user interface, menus, and command line interface). The researchers summarized data on the interaction types across AF systems to find that most AF systems used menus as the primary means of interaction. Among the 25 systems monitored and controlled by AF, they uncovered more than 1500 options for accessing, interacting with, and controlling the equipment necessary to National Airspace System operations. They analyzed the options for frequency of occurrence and defined meanings for each of the most frequently used options. The result of this analysis is a set of core commands that are common across a number of systems.