Interval Management (IM) is one NexGen method for achieving airspace efficiencies. In order to initiate IM procedures, Air Traffic Control provides an IM clearance to the IM aircraft’s pilots that indicates an intended spacing from another aircraft (the target to follow – or TTF) and the point at which this should be achieved. Pilots enter the clearance in the flight deck IM (FIM) system; and once the TTF’s Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast signal is available, the FIM algorithm generates target speeds to meet that IM goal. This study examined four Avionics Conditions (defined by the instrumentation and location presenting FIM information) and three Notification Methods (defined by the visual and aural alerts that notified pilots to IM-related events). Current commercial pilots flew descents into Dallas/Fort-Worth in a high-fidelity commercial flight deck simulation environment with realistic traffic and communications. All 12 crews experienced each Avionics Condition, where order was counterbalanced over crews. Each crew used only one of the three Notification Methods. This paper presents results from eye tracking data collected from both pilots, including: normalized number of samples falling within FIM displays, normalized heads-up time, noticing time, dwell time on first FIM display look after a new speed, a workload-related metric, and a measure comparing the scan paths of pilot flying and pilot monitoring; and discusses these in the context of other objective (vertical and speed profile deviations, response time to dial in commanded speeds, out-of-speed-conformance and reminder indications) and subjective measures (workload, situation awareness, usability, and operational acceptability).
& Harden, J. W.
(2015). Flight Deck Interval Management Avionics: Eye-Tracking Analysis. 18th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 500-505.