The use of operational event sequence diagrams and work domain analysis techniques for the specification of the crewing configuration of a single-pilot commercial aircraft

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Aircraft manufacturers and avionics systems suppliers are developing technologies for airliners that will be operated by just a single crew member. An alternative approach to using a large amount of on-board computing proposes the utilisation of extant technology derived from single-seat military aircraft and Uninhabited Air Systems where control is distributed in real time across the aircraft flight deck and ground stations (which supervise several aircraft simultaneously). Using a combination of operational event sequence diagrams and work domain analysis techniques, the allocation of tasks and requirements for the development of supporting technologies for such an operational architecture are identified in a low visibility taxi scenario. These analyses show that many of the functions undertaken by a second pilot in this situation are associated with checking, surveillance and monitoring activities. These must be undertaken either by automated aircraft systems or the monitoring personnel in the ground station. This analytical approach can successfully provide the necessary information underpinning the design requirements for such an aircraft concept.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289–302
Number of pages14
JournalCognition, Technology & Work
Issue number2-3
Early online date27 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


Bibliographical note

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  • allocation of function
  • Flight deck design 
  • Reduced crewing 
  • Work domain analysis 
  • Operational event sequence diagrams 

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