FIGURE 9.1 Components of the free flight concept. Goals, information, and authority (both perceived and actual) may differ among the four major elements.

First, air traffic controllers maintain primary responsibility for the goal of overall safety of all aircraft in the system, and their concerns about efficiency are distributed across all occupants of the airspace, including general aviation and military aviation flying in civilian airspace. Airline management, as reflected by the influence of the airline operations center, although concerned with safety, has relatively greater interest in expediency and efficiency, as well as a more local interest in the efficiency of its own fleet of aircraft. Profit is a heavy driver of the expediency goal, given the low profit margin of most airlines and the high cost of delays to company profit. The pilot's interests are still more local, concerned primarily with the safety and expediency of a single aircraft. Automation may be conceived to be relatively goal-neutral with regard to safety and efficiency, in that these goals are defined by the designers of the system. However, many aspects of automation proposed for the national airspace system are specifically intended to increase efficiency, with the explicit requirement that they be safety-neutral.



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