Human Factors is a wide and complex domain. Its importance in aviation is indeniable, especially in today’s world. With technology and human-machine interaction more present than ever, it is essential to consider the role of human factors in the present and future operational environments. Special emphasis will need to be directed to the human factors issues that may influence the design, transition and in-service use of the future CNS/ATM systems.
Human Factors also play a significant role in improving safety in aviation, by making States and organisations more aware and responsive to the importance of the role of the human in civil aviation operations in general, through the provision of practical human factors material and measures developed on the basis of experience (ICAO, 2020). IFATCA has been at the forefront of these initatives, as it can be seen by the numerous policies the Federation has developed on the topic over the years.
What falls under Human Factors?
As said previously, the domain of Human Factors is vast. As regards air traffic control, it encompasses inter alia the following aspects:
- Human Factors management and organization;
- Human Factors issues in the development and implementation of Communications Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) systems;
- Human Factors within systems;
- Automation in air traffic control;
- Selection and training of air traffic controllers;
- The human element and its specific attributes.
To illustrate the complexity of Human Factors, it can be useful to use a model to facilitate the understanding. An easy and practical model was developed by Edwards in 1972, later on modified by Hawkins in 1975, with a diagram to illustrate the model. The SHEL conceptual model uses blocks to represent the different components of Human Factors. The model can then be built up one block at a time, with a pictorial impression being
given of the need for matching the components (the edges of the blocks are embedded within each other, as seen below). The name SHEL is derived from the initial letters of its components:
Where the Liveware refers to the human, the hardware refers to the machine, the software refers to either the procedures, the symbology, etc., and the environment refers to the situation in which the Liveware/ Software/ Hardware system must function. This building block diagram does not cover the interfaces which are outside Human Factors (hardware-hardware; hardware-environment; software-hardware) and is only intended as a basic aid to understanding Human Factors.
For more information, visit one of the following WIKIFATCA pages:
WC 8.2.10 SHORT TERM CONFLICT ALERT (STCA): HUMAN FACTORS / LEGAL ASPECTS
IFATCA Policy is:
The Short Term Conflict Alert (STCA) system should only alert the controllers at the specific radar sector concerned, and not at positions where controllers are not involved in the alert.
The methods and procedures for the use of STCA should be clearly defined before the introduction of the equipment.
Unless STCA provides a definitive course of action for the controller to follow, it cannot be accepted that the fitting of an STCA device will necessarily increase the controller’s legal liability should an incident occur.
|See: WP 168 – Santiago 1999|
Last Update: May 9, 2020
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Last Update: May 9, 2020