John E. Gaffney, Jr. and Dan C. Ross

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: The National Air Traffic Control (ATC) system is becoming increasingly crowded, and this trend is expected to continue. The responsibility for handling this growing traffic falls principally upon air traffic controllers and pilots. The ATC system designer must insure that the burden placed on these key operational personnel continues to be consistent with safe and efficient use of the airspace. This paper is especially concerned with the position-determination function in an expanding ATC system. In the present system, there are several duties related to position determination which may combine to load pilots unduly, including: (a) frequent adn sometimes lengthy interchanges with controllers, (b) frequent changes in radio channels used in the communication and navigation functions, and (c) frequent measurements of position, sometimes for the purpose of maintaining course, but more often for the purpose of reporting position to the ATC system. The controller is also beset with problems that can lead to excessive work loads; for example, ever more expeditious decision-making is required of the controller to handle: (a) the increased speed and density of modern aircraft, (b) the need for greater landing and takeoff rates at principal airports, and (c) increased communications among controllers to coordinate adjacent centers and / or sectors. The purpose of the ATC system has been defined in the RTCA document "Long Range Planning for Air Traffic System" of 17 March 1967. " provide for safe efficient use of the airpace by all classes of users. This includes the prevention of collisions, and assurance of minium delay or other inconvenience to the users of the airspace. "By 'air traffic system' is meant traffic control, navigation, communications, weather data dissemination, airports, regulations, operating procedures and other factors involved in the safe and efficient utilization of the airspace."
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 15, Number 1
Pages: 93 - 98
Cite this article: Gaffney, John E., Jr.,, Ross, Dan C., "AIRCRAFT POSITION DETERMINATION: A MODERN VIEW OF REQUIREMENTS", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 15, No. 1, Spring 1968, pp. 93-98.
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