Faculty Members Earn FAA Funding for Human Factors Research

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Donna Wilt and John Deaton, faculty members in the Florida Institute of Technology College of Aeronautics, recently were awarded a $98,998 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to identify NextGen operational issues for single pilots and to develop a multiyear research and development (R&D) plan to address single-pilot operations and procedures in the NextGen environment. The grant is titled “Determination of NextGen Human Factor Issues and Recommended R&D Requirements for Single-Pilot Aircraft Operations in NextGen Environments.”

NextGen is a comprehensive overhaul of our National Airspace System to make air travel more convenient and dependable. NextGen will improve the system by using the latest technology to modernize communication, navigation and surveillance systems to promote new operational capabilities. Many NextGen capabilities will require new advanced avionics, which could increase task demands and complexity for flight crews. In addition, the anticipated NextGen operational challenges for single-piloted aircraft will require human factors research and development to ensure that the single pilot can safely operate while meeting requirements and constraints imposed in the National Airspace System.

The FAA’s human factors R&D efforts aim to support the FAA’s Aviation Safety and Air Traffic Organization mission requirements, specifically by identifying and resolving human factors issues through research activities, resulting in:

• Tools and recommendations to guide aircraft certification personnel in evaluation of technologies that enable NextGen

• Recommendations to support flight standards personnel in developing and approving NextGen procedures and pilot training requirements

• System design requirements with supporting scientific and technical data that inform NextGen program offices and policy makers at key decision points and acquisition milestones in the broader NextGen context.

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