automation issues includes the categories of mode errors, trust, skill degradation, mental models, and communication and organization. Researchers and developers interested in the evaluation of current and future automated systems should find these frameworks useful.

This introduction includes a set of tables that map automation programs and products to controller tasks performed in each type of facility. A glossary defining the acronyms noted in the tables and elsewhere in the report appears in Appendix A. Our purpose in presenting the tables is to offer a broad framework for the more detailed discussion of specific instances of automation and to present a general overview of trends.

Tables II.1 through II.4 summarize current, developmental, and contemplated applications of automation to air traffic control tasks for the en route, TRACON, tower, and oceanic environments, respectively. The tables include traffic management and flight service tasks for each environment, as appropriate.

In the Phase I report we acknowledged and discussed in some detail the importance of the flight service station facilities and the Air Traffic Control System Command Center facility. Our current treatment of these facilities is limited here to referencing the automated features of these facilities that support traffic management functions for the en route, TRACON, tower, and oceanic environments. In addition, we note the distinction between air traffic control and airway facilities specialists; however, the tables include and the text discusses in detail the automated features of airway facilities systems that support air traffic control tasks.

The tasks identified in Tables II.1 through II.4 are grouped into the following cognitive functions and presented in descending order of cognitive complexity:

  1. Planning strategies and resolving conflicts,

  2. Predicting long-term events,

  3. Comparing criteria and predicting short-term events,

  4. Transmitting information,

  5. Remembering, and

  6. Identifying relevant items of information.

For each environment and for each controller task, we identify automated features of the air traffic control system that are: (1) currently implemented, having been developed, tested, and fielded (although not necessarily implemented in all facilities for a given environment); (2) in development (although future upgrades or product improvements with additional automated features may remain tentative); and (3) under future consideration (development may be planned or concepts may be under consideration). Since the third category reflects concepts rather than detailed designs, the mapping of those items to functions that they may automate is especially tentative; our mapping is based on a broad interpretation of the automation concepts for items in that category. For example,

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