Human Factors Assessment

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Authors: Mark Hale
Anton Koros
D. Michael McAnulty
Randy Sollenberger, PhD.

McAnulty, D. M., Sollenberger, R., Koros, A., Hale, M. (2008). Human factors assessment of the En Route Information Display System (DOT/FAA/TC-08/12). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.


The Federal Aviation Administration is modernizing its en route air traffic control automation system, including an En Route Information Display System (ERIDS). ERIDS provides controllers with multiple types of information electronically via a 15-inch touchscreen display at each airspace radar sector. It replaces paper documents that were shared by controllers at multiple sectors in an operations area. Researchers from the Human Factors Team – Atlantic City conducted the current study to assess the benefits of the fielded ERIDS and to identify any potential usability issues. The researchers collected questionnaire, simulation, interview, and observation data at three Air Route Traffic Control Centers using paper documents and, again, at one of the centers after ERIDS was fielded. All of the assessments of ERIDS indicate that controllers do not regularly obtain and use relatively static aeronautical information, whether it is available in paper or electronic format. The study confirmed that ERIDS eliminates the problem of paper documents not being readily available, which is the most time consuming part of the information acquisition process. With ERIDS, the information is always available at the sector position. In addition, accessing Approach Plates, which is the most frequently sought and highest rated type of information for safety and efficiency, is easy to do with ERIDS, unless the controller needs to switch between two or more plates. The researchers recommend modifications to make ERIDS easier to use and suggest that a more thorough human factors evaluation be conducted to identify and prioritize other issues and to recommend possible solutions.