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The role of human in automation by M. Baumgartner

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  • The reason that the need has become so urgent is that the means exist to phase out air traffic control as we know it. Controllers will remember that there have been statements since the 1970 ’ s that computers will replace air traffic controllers but these claims have been dismissed as fantasy. However things have changed over the thirty years since these statements were first made – and now even some of IFATCA ’ s experts on future ATM are warning that unless action is taken by controllers and service providers that controllers and service providers will be increasingly ignored and eventually (say by 2035) phased out. Air Traffic Control is increasingly being seen, for example by airline management, as an impediment to efficient operations - and not the enabler of efficient operations. Air traffic control now has to justify its existence. In explaining its role – both current and future roles – terminology that is understood must be used. It is no longer enough to simply say “ for safety ” – as safety can be accomplished in various ways. Terminology must evolve so that the role is understood by the people making decisions – and the powerful lobby groups – and most of these have accounting and legal backgrounds and not aviation backgrounds. Air traffic control has to become much more strategically based in order to deliver the efficiencies expected. Likewise the inability of adjacent service providers being fully interoperable and working together to solve traffic flow problems has to be overcome. Time is in fact running out quickly.
  • What has changed? Why is the need so urgent? Future ATM is in fact on the drawing boards now – or some elements already starting to be used. The ICAO Global ATM Concept has been accepted for some years now – and now especially “ users ” are interpreting it as best suits their viewpoint – and they are the main “ voices ” as controllers and service providers have been almost silent. For example, mainly airlines have influenced the European Commission to spend vast sums of government money on changing ATM. The recipients of this money include organisations that have a demonstrated ability to initiate considerable change (unlike most service providers). The flight deck has been considerably changed over the last 30 years. The flight engineer has gone, fly-by-wire (once a very novel futuristic idea) has been implemented in a large percentage of commercial airliners, auto-land and auto-take off are being recommended as being more cost effective and perhaps even safer than manual operations, there have been massive improvements in the navigation systems, engines and other aspects of individual aircraft operation. This expertise has been focussed essentially “ inside the aircraft ” – however now its focus has shifted to “ outside the aircraft ” or how aircraft interact with other aircraft – and the potential for radical change exists. Think what has happened over thirty years on the flight deck – and now think of that same effort over the next thirty years on ATM. Another example, which has been experienced around the world, airlines have discovered that by acting together they can more easily and effectively (from their perspective) overcome the problems that they have been asking the service providers for years to fix – but the service providers have not done so. This is especially true when multiple service providers are involved in a particular problem. In fact, it is not that the alternative to air traffic control as it is today is cheap – but rather than in the light of so little change over so long a time that the airlines in frustration find that solving the problem themselves may be more effective. In addition the perception of the cost of air traffic control – both direct costs and indirect costs – is seen as so significant that airlines are considering that it may be cheaper in the long run for them to do it themselves – and of course get as much government funding for the change as possible.
  • Holy trinity
  • The third chapter of the IFATCA Statement is: Human and Technology. IFATCA has been stressing to outside groups these points: FIRST of ALL Controllers are not against change! Controllers are simply not happy with the changes imposed on them – where technology fails to deliver as promised . SECOND Humans will be necessary in the operational areas, including Controllers for many years – but as the technology and systems evolve the role of the humans will evolve . THIRD In order to meet the increasing safety and other performance targets of ATM, an increasing level of automation will be required – however the human shall at all times remain the manager of and not the servant of the automation. In basic terms this means that the human will choose what is to be done, delegate the execution of the task(s) to the automation and be able to intervene if required. This affects selection, training, recency requirements and possibly even ratings and endorsements . Representatives of the humans who will operate the automation must be involved throughout the design, simulation, implementation and review of the automation.
  • IFAT FIRST of ALL Controllers are not against change! Controllers are simply not happy with the changes imposed on them – where technology fails to deliver as promised . IFATCA is convinced, and has previously stated, that even with advanced automation starting to be introduced widely, through various projects such as SESAR and NEXTGEN, that in the future there will be a need to have traditionally trained and selected ATCOs in the system until at least 2020. A potential reduction of workforce per movements will not become a reality before 2030 (it is not likely that the numbers of ATCOs will decrease, but rather each ATCO will handle significantly increased numbers of aircraft). So, industry has to accept, and be prepared for the scenario, that a potential reduction in ATCO numbers due to automation will not be possible until after a further generation of ATCOs; (the ATCOs working the future system are currently in pre-school or primary school age or are not yet born!). During the transition phase from the current to future systems, there is a need for more than the minimum numbers of ATCOs (we have never seen optimum staffing levels) to handle the day-to-day traffic. If SESAR and NEXTGEN are to be introduced in a promising way, then there is a need to involve the current workforce in validation, "modelling", conceptual work and simulation, which all require work outside of the control centers. Further, the introduction of Safety Management Systems and the moving from the current ‘technology driven’ to a ‘performance driven’ approach to ATC will require more experts with an operational background outside of the control centers. We estimate that there is a need for at least an additional 15% above the minimum staff numbers required just to handle the traffic.
  • SECOND Humans will be necessary in the operational areas, including Controllers for many years – but as the technology and systems evolve the role of the humans will evolve
  • Humans and Automation In order to meet the increasing safety and other performance targets of ATM, an increasing level of automation will be required – however the human shall at all times remain the manager of (and not the servant of) the automation. In basic terms this means that the human will choose what is to be done, delegate the execution of the task(s) to the automation and be able to intervene if required. The automation support of the human roles within ATM must be developed and implemented in a way that fosters trust and confidence by the human in the automation functions. Experience (both good and bad) regarding the successful implementation of automation to the cockpit will be used in designing automation in other areas of ATM, especially for air traffic controllers. Highreliability systems such as fly-by-wire, full automatic landing, etc have been implemented in aircraft and a similar rigor is required in the development of ground-based automation, especially when the automation function (or failure) will have consequences for multiple aircraft at a time. The tasks and nature of human roles within ATM will evolve with the automation. For air traffic controllers this will involve changes such as reduction/removal of “house-keeping” tasks such as frequency changes, the delegation of specific tasks or responsibilities to other agents (both human and automation), adjustments in work-style to support a more strategic trajectory management traffic flow, changes to the staffing required at positions, etc. It is important to make sure that the job satisfaction and pride remains high and the overall human experience in the future system, while different, will not be any less attractive or important than it is today. The humans’ role in the system will be by design, and not become a residual task such as “the human does whatever the automation can’t complete”. The ATM system design approach will ensure that the strengths of the human and of the automation are both maximized while the weakness of the human and the automation are both minimized. Degraded and Recovery modes of automation will especially ensure
  • Transcript

    • 1. SESAR ALIAS conferenceAutomation: what role for the Human?
    • 2. WarningUnless controllers (and service providers):• Speak loudly about the beneficial role of air traffic control• Use terminology that is understood by the powerful lobby groups such as airlines• Make significant changes to more strategic and interoperable control practicesthe existing role of air traffic control in air trafficmanagement will be phased out!
    • 3. Why• Future ATM is now (being designed)• ICAO Global Concept is being interpreted by those outside of ATC – especially “users”• Organizations that phased out the flight engineer, introduced fly-by-wire, etc now have massive government funding toredefine ATM• Airlines are doing what Service Providers should have been doing
    • 4. Future ATM• The whole ATM system will be performance based, and changes based on performance cases (which includes safety cases).• A high level of automation will be required in meeting the highest ATM performance requirements.• Air Traffic control (reactive, tactical) will be replaced by Air Traffic Management (proactive, strategic).• Management by Trajectory will form the basis of all controllers’ activities.• Airspace will be dynamic (move around).• UAV in non-segregated airspace.• Less controllers needed• Local/Regional Implementation – Airports will be controlled from a remote facility (virtual towers). – Completely automated separation provision.
    • 5. Future Past Today A320 Radar TrajectoryProcedural Know the Estimate the Know & share the current current and current and and planned a/c planned a/c estimate positions positions planned a/c positions
    • 6. Current situation Past -Prisoner of an old system Today -Which is working in isolation -FPL and FMS information only known to my unit (if at all) -Too much housekeeping tasks -Radio communicationProcedur -Strip updates Radar -HMI updates Know the al currentEstimate the -Phone coordination with andcurrent and adjacent sectors estimateplanned a/c planned positions a/c positions
    • 7. Current situation Future-I have to make up for the Antiquated system – by inventing work around and deviation from A320 the rules to make it work-Airspace is not really available on a need basis-Airport have limited capacity-Financial issues are more important Trajectory than generating capacity Know & share the current and planned a/c positions
    • 8. Human & Technology
    • 9. Influencing factors New Technology
    • 10. Evolving role of humansService Provision Job evolution
    • 11. AutomationHuman centered
    • 12. Strong point of humans
    • 13. Risks• Current system is understaffed – (+15% for transition phase)• Involvement of human operators is crucial – Challenge for validation (ANSP) – High risk for SESAR• Final result of SESAR is not what is required in OPS room, due to a strong industrial influence
    • 14. QUESTIONS:•Who is responsible for the decisions of automation•Who is responsible in case of failure (redundancy), taking into account that impactof failure is/might be more damaging•COTS (commercial off the shelf) and certification?•ATCOs will decide on scenarios proposed by WHAT IF tools •what happens if ATCO will override the machine or machine overrides ATCO•Delegation of separation •Can the system be held liable? •What if an aircraft looses its precision functions •What if something is not working according to scenario brake and vacate does not work, longer runway occupancy•Which state will be responsible in case of an accident •A German ATCO controlling the flow of traffic (scenario based) from Scandinavia to Spain (accident happens over France)•Who controls the system (fully automated/remote tower) of system•Who looks out of the tower?
    • 15. There is a lot of prospective work from a legal pointof view needed already now in the developmentphase of SESAR and NEXTGEN •Safety will become an inherent property of the system •Delegation of separation •Automation of separation •No more sovereign airspace in the ATM management •Failure will have a bigger destruction power (network effect) •Design will have to cater for the end result •ARE WE (as Aviation community) ready for it?
    • 16. www.ifatca.orgSesar.coord@ifatca.org