Concept Development and Design Description

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Authors: Todd Truitt, PhD.

Truitt, T. (2006). Concept development and design description of electronic flight data interfaces for airport traffic control towers (DOT/FAA/TC-TN06/17). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.


This report documents and describes the development process, design rationale, and design description for two prototype Electronic Flight Data Interfaces (EFDIs) for an Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT). The author designed the EFDIs as part of a concept research program to examine the feasibility of using Electronic Flight Data (EFD) in an ATCT instead of paper Flight Progress Strips. The author designed the EFDIs based on literature review, working group and subject matter expert input, task analyses, low-risk usability tests, and a rapid prototype process. The Integrated EFDI incorporates EFD with the Airport Surface Detection Equipment - Model X (ASDE-X). The Perceptual-Spatial EFDI does not rely on ASDE-X, but presents EFD that controllers can arrange spatially on an airport surface map. Both EFDIs include separate displays for the local and ground controller positions and provide controllers with the ability to record, manage, and transfer flight data. The EFDIs will be used to automate some flight data management tasks, to provide new tools designed to reduce controller workload and improve safety, and to improve controller efficiency by integrating information. A provisional patent application is pending for the EFDIs.