Electronic Flight Data in Airport Traffic Control Towers

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Authors: Todd Truitt, PhD.

Truitt, T. R. (2006). Electronic flight data in airport traffic control towers: Literature review (DOT/FAA/CT-05/13). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the potential effects of implementing electronic flight data systems (EFDSs) at Airport Traffic Control Towers (ATCTs). This literature review examines task analyses, published literature, and recent field observation data to explore the basic functionality of flight progress strips (FPSs) in the ATCT. The author identifies gaps in the research and searches for general principles to guide the design of an EFDS prototype. Given the proper design of the interface and automation, an EFDS should maintain some of the basic functionality and benefits of the FPSs, reduce workload related to flight data entry, tracking and sharing, and provide new features that will enhance controller performance and encourage use. The author presents possible risks and outcomes that may accompany an EFDS in FAA ATCTs.