Human Factors concerns must be integrated in the design and development of automation to assist air traffic management efficiency and safety in future traffic systems. This paper describes the practices used in development of an advanced decision support tool (DST) for addressing and resolving the human performance and information processing requirements. The en route descent advisor (EDA) is an advanced DST that assists controllers with metering of arrival aircraft in transition from Center to TRACON airspace. EDA generates comprehensive control advisories, allowing for efficient traffic control and compliance with metering and separation requirements. In today's environment controllers must rely entirely on their skill and judgment to provide instructions for conformance to flow rate restrictions and conflict avoidance. Automation that allows accurate, efficient ground-based control of the transition and descent phase of flight will result in a reduction in workload, flight deviations, and fuel consumption. A fundamental criterion for successful development of an advanced DST must be the acceptance and trust in the tool for use in an operational environment. The DST must provide a functional reduction in the controller's workload during periods of intense traffic demands, as well as during normal flow conditions. For use in traffic control, the DST must be accurate, stable, and efficient in all possible applications. Achieving these fundamental human factors design goals requires a dedicated focus on development of robust and versatile algorithms and the underlying processes that support the DST functions. Since EDA is still in the concept development phase, the project presents a unique opportunity for early and continuous human factors involvement throughout the development and evaluation cycle. To address these human factors concerns, simulation, testing and validation are performed as an integral part of the overall EDA development activity. The incremental process for EDA development permits controller evaluations and recommendations to be included in the development of the mature DST capabilities. This paper discusses controller-in-the-loop trials for development of trajectory visualization and other information presentations.
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