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Hum Factors. 2004 Spring;46(1):32-49.

The use of flight progress strips while working live traffic: frequencies, importance, and perceived benefits.

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Department of Psychology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA.


The Federal Aviation Administration's effort to automate air traffic control (ATC) requires that the functionality provided today be captured in future systems. We report the first quantitative naturalistic observation of paper flight progress strip interactions during operational use. Strip use was similar in a variety of situations, but some uses varied as a function of altitude, staffing, or the cooperative style used by controller teams. Design of automation should proceed by prioritizing changes based on frequency of use and importance and should ensure that an effective method of interacting with flight information is incorporated. In addition to applied relevance to the ATC domain, the results touch on several theoretical concerns relevant to dynamic environments. Actual and potential applications of this research include the establishment of a database of strip activity and an arsenal of information valuable to system designers.

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