Space efficient, the only workstation which allows true back to back operation.
Hardware access on full pull-out carriages.
User height adjustable work surface
DISADVANTAGES OF LEGACY WORKSTATIONS:
Equipment accommodation priority, rather than operation efficiency.
No adjustment of screens or HMI’s.
Cannot adapt to changes in hardware technology.
Poor equipment access.
SAFETY & ERGONOMICS PAPER PRESENTED AT ATC GLOBAL.
ATC Centres manage ever increasing volumes of traffic whilst at the same time reducing
overall delays. The relationship between the air traffic controller or air traffic
services assistant and the equipment they depend upon is becoming more and more critical.
Legacy systems have always depended upon a requirement to accommodate Equipment rather
than the Operator, and often have not been designed in an ergonomic way, the provision
of equipment being more important than the ability of an operator to interact with
These legacy systems, especially the furniture in which they are accommodated, are
regarded by many in the ATC and Human Factors communities as capable of hindering
tasks rather than facilitating them. One example is the problem of parallax error.
Whilst previously, the extra time necessary to more closely scrutinise an adjacent
radar display (as opposed to a ‘head on’ one) was an acceptable penalty, in the more
demanding environment and higher traffic levels this is no longer acceptable. Another
example is the increasing use of LCD technology whereby viewing angles are crucial
in order to accurately interpret information or interact with the system using touch
screens. Older ATM systems and the furniture in which they are embedded do not facilitate
the use of such equipment as easily as is desirable. Similarly changes to display
equipment can often mean that far from ideal solutions are implemented. Safety Executive
guidelines recognise the need to minimise physical strain and optical difficulties
when using all types of Human Machine Interface (HMI’s) and this is the case in Air
Traffic Control where urgent and accurate collation of information, resultant decision
making and the communication of those decisions, is a fundamental part of the Operator
Both the speedy and accurate interaction by the Operator and the need to recognise
the potential for compromising physical well-being (this can also compromise the
effectiveness of the operator) are increasingly problematical. Throughout the ATC
community there is greater use of LCD displays and computer driven technology, changing
the way in which we interface with the System, whilst at the same time development
of tools such as conflict resolution systems and more efficient flight data processing
systems, increase the time spent by operators in interaction with the ’machine’.
It is important that this increased interaction is not at the expense of the primary
tasks such as radar scanning and radio communication.
The FOSAIR controller working position addresses all of the problems referred to
thus far. Because the equipment is adaptable to changing technology FOSAIR does not
require major ’above desk’ changes in order to accommodate new or additional equipment.
This obviates the need for major redesign work and the potential for operating mistakes
to occur as a result of changes to the physical layout of the controller working
Because the equipment supported by the desk is totally adjustable, viewing angles,
viewing distances, equipment heights and work surface heights can all be adjusted
quickly and easily to suit the physical stature of the Operator as well as their
own specific needs both for visual requirements and personal preferences. This means
that for the first time the Machine factor of the Human Machine Interface becomes
secondary to the
Human factor. The benefits of this are two fold, physical and sensory strain can
be virtually eliminated and at the same time, both as a result of that elimination
and the positioning of the equipment in a manner suited to the individual and not
an arbitrary fiftieth percentile, operators can be more effective in the execution
of their task without distraction.
Whilst this dissertation refers specifically to Air Traffic Control tasks, the advantages
referred to, both in minimising disruption associated with the introduction of new
technology and in facilitating efficient and effective work effort, applies to many
other fields where the reception, analysis and dissemination of information and critical
decision making is the primary role.