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Improving the interaction between people and technology — because it matters

Case Studies

Newquay Cornwall Airport Interim ATC Tower

Newquay Airport
"Your support has been much appreciated."

As part of the expansion of Cornwall's Newquay Airport, a development plan was drawn up to transition the airport to full civil operation when the military ceased flying at RAF St. Mawgan at the end of 2008. Amongst other construction works, Selex-SI was awarded a contract to provide the airport with all of the necessary navigational aids.

HF Matters was engaged to provide support to the NavAids project, in particular assessing the physical ergonomics of the various controller working positions and the associated working environments (contributing to the Safety Case). The CAA granted the airport its operating licence on 19th December 2008.

FASTI Good Practice Guidelines

Providing more system support to Air Traffic Controllers can contribute to improving the safety, efficiency and productivity of Air Traffic Management systems. The aim of EUROCONTROL's First ATC Support Tools Implementation (FASTI) Programme is to ensure the rapid and coordinated deployment of an initial set of controller support tools.

As part of the FASTI Programme, HF Matters helped to develop a set of "good practice guidelines" for assisting with the planning and management of the transition to the FASTI tools. Data were collected, by interview, from ten Air Navigation Service Providers within Europe, capturing the lessons learned from their experiences of implementing new tools to support controllers. For further information, download the final report.

FASTI logo
"Impressed by the amount of valuable data you collected"

Trials Control System Workstation

Trials Control System
"Your support has been much appreciated."

The MoD Aberporth Range, operated by QinetiQ, provides an instrumented Range capability that enables realistic trials of guided weapon systems, bombs, military aircraft and other equipment to be conducted safely and effectively. The aim of the Trials Control System (TCS) project is to replace the ageing and obsolete equipment used for Trials Control with a more modern and supportable system.

As part of the TCS project, HF Matters advised on the physical ergonomics of the highly-specialised multi-display workstation and on the human-computer interface (HCI) aspects of the Flight Planning Tool and Air Control displays.

Usability evaluation study

On behalf of Domain Solutions HF Matters undertook a small Human Factors study to evaluate the usability of an information integrity product integrated into the Microsoft Office® and Outlook® applications. The product, which can be used either standalone or integrated with existing business systems, enables the user to verify the authenticity of electronic data (including imagery, video and audio files) and detect possible tampering.

The study identified features of the application that were considered "undesirable" (including inconsistencies) and a number of features that were considered "unacceptable" (including possible faults). Various practical recommendations for improving the usability of the application were made.


"Client liked report, thought
good value for money"

Oceanic ATC Studies

North Atlantic Tracks

"Very good summary.
Look forward to continuing the research."

Aircraft crossing the North Atlantic, beyond the range of radar, fly under procedural control; controllers use position reports sent from pilots to ensure that aircraft are safely separated. Most flights operate in two time-blocks – westbound and eastbound – and follow an organised 'track' structure. Ways to increase air traffic capacity and efficiency (whilst maintaining safety) have been a focus of research for many years.

On behalf of Helios Technology HF Matters has conducted a number of studies to evaluate HF issues associated with reduced longitudinal separation and also the proposed concept for Improved Vertical Profiles (IVPs). In collaboration with Graffica we also evaluated aspects of the human-computer interface (HCI) for providing IVPs.



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