Fort Hill Group developed and launched a website to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing among the international air traffic management community.
The relationship between human operators and the automation systems they use to manage complex systems has long been identified as an important field of study. The ever-increasing role that automation plays in assisting air traffic managers to manage the safe and efficient flow of aircraft makes understanding the human – automation role even more important. To further that understanding, Fort Hill Group has developed a central resource for the air traffic management (ATM) community in collaboration with the EUROCONTROL/Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Action Plan 15 Working Group on Safety Research. The Automation & ATM website provides a collection of stories, themes, and resources to inform stakeholders across the ATM community of the challenges and best practices that affect the manner in which humans interact with automation systems.
Fort Hill Group facilitated several working group sessions to identify stakeholder groups and the particular needs and interests of each stakeholder group. The resulting list of stakeholders ranged from executives, who would be making organizational decisions regarding automation procurement, to system designers, who would be designing future automation systems, to system operators, who would be involved in the daily application of automation systems. Given the diverse interests of the stakeholders, the website content was divided into three inter-related sections: Automation Stories, Automation Themes, and Automation Lifecycle Phases.
In addition to collecting and developing the content for the website, Fort Hill Group also developed a mechanism for users to submit their own stories regarding Automation & ATM. The submission form allows users to submit positive examples of successful automation systems and lessons learned from challenges with developing or using automation systems. Fort Hill Group then shares submitted stories with the Action Plan 15 working group. Action Plan 15 uses submitted and current stories to provide further educational resources (e.g., best practices, lessons learned, emerging automation trends) regarding human-automation interaction to the ATM community.