treated as a unified program. To do so will require the establishment of a single locus within the FAA organization that has, at minimum, an oversight function for all such research and development. Ideally, such a unit would also have the authority to establish research goals and standards of rigor in the conduct of the program of studies. This arrangement would not reallocate roles and responsibilities now assigned to the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute and the FAA Technical Center, but it would impose central management of the human factors support for the integrated product teams. General recommendations for integrating human factors research and development activities into a comprehensive, iterative program are echoed in the earlier reports of three technical meetings, sponsored in part by the FAA (Wise, Hopkin, and Smith, 1991; Wise, Hopkin, and Stager, 1993; Wise, Hopkin, and Garland, 1994).

Our emphasis here is on the integration of research and development activities into a systematic and comprehensive human factors program . Such a program involves the coordinated actions of many contributors (including managers, systems engineers, a variety of users, and human factors specialists) at the FAA, cooperating government agencies, and subcontractors. These activities occur across all phases of acquisition and implementation (including analysis, definition of requirements, design, test and evaluation, and training and selection of personnel) and involve a mix of research and evaluation methodologies (including analysis, modeling, simulation, prototyping, laboratory studies, and field studies). This comprehensive approach must be applied to individual subsystems and to the wider national airspace system into which the subsystems must be integrated. We note here that the maintenance of such a comprehensive program requires the commitment and support of FAA management, as well as of those constituents with whom the agency interacts (e.g., legislators, regulators, commercial users of the national airspace system, and representatives of employee unions). This commitment must be demonstrated by continuous allocation of resources (e.g., budget, staffing, facilities, and educational materials) sufficient to accomplish both the breadth and depth of research and development activities we discuss below. In systems with direct safety implications, such as those that the FAA is developing, the resource commitment to human factors during development and testing should be at least as large as that associated with hardware and software reliability.


In the Phase I report, we identified a wide range of research methodologies that could contribute to understanding the information needs and task requirements of controllers, as well as to the appropriate design of equipment and interfaces to serve those needs. These methodologies include literature searches, incident analysis, modeling, laboratory studies, simulation studies, and field tests.

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