An Analysis of En Route Air

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Authors: Kenneth Allendoerfer, PhD.
Shantanu Pai
Carolina Zingale, PhD.

Allendoerfer, K. R., Pai, S., & Zingale, C. (2006). An analysis of en route air traffic control system usage during special situations (DOT/FAA/TC-TN06/11). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.


The Federal Aviation Administration is developing the En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) system to replace the legacy en route air traffic control automation system consisting of the Host Computer System (HCS), the Display System Replacement (DSR), and the User Request Evaluation Tool (URET). Because controllers will use ERAM to respond to both routine and special situations, it is important that ERAM be evaluated in a variety of conditions. This technical note provides an analysis of how controllers use the legacy system during special situations and corresponding evaluation metrics. The special situations include weather, traffic management initiatives, emergencies, and outages. The metrics may be useful in future evaluations of the effectiveness of ERAM as compared to the legacy system. We used a qualitative analytic method in which we interviewed subject-matter experts (SMEs). The SMEs characterized each situation and provided information about the actions controllers typically take to respond. We discuss how the results of the analysis can be applied to ERAM testing and provide guidance for future studies to create a rich set of human factors metrics for system testing.