Human Factor Considerations in the Design of Multifunction Display Systems for Civil Aircraft
|Publication Date:||1 December 2020|
The function of a multifunctional display (MFD) system is to provide the crew access to a variety of data, or combinations of data, used to fly the aircraft, to navigate, to communicate, and to manage aircraft systems. MFDs may also display primary flight information (PFI) as needed to insure continuity of operations. This document sets forth design and operational recommendations concerning the human factors considerations for MFD systems.
The MFD system may contain one or more electronic display devices capable of presenting data in several possible formats. MFDs are designed to depict PFI, navigation, communication, aircraft state, aircraft system management, weather, traffic, and/or other information used by the flight crew for command and control of the aircraft. The information displayed may be combined to make an integrated display or one set of data may simply replace another.
The information contained in this document can be applied to the design of all MFDs, including electronic flight bags (EFB), regardless of aircraft type. This document makes extensive use of "lessons learned" and information developed and currently in use by systems and airframe manufacturers through the evolutionary development of today's advanced systems.
Some assumptions used in developing this document include:
• MFDs will incorporate a human-centered design using knowledge gained from previous work and research.
• This document is intended to apply to new systems or modifications to existing systems.
• Each function of a MFD is capable of providing accurate and timely information appropriate to the tasks of the flight crew for certain aircraft operations throughout all phases of flight.
• MFD systems will be based on the aeronautical English language, but other languages may have to be considered.
• MFD systems will meet international harmonized certification requirements.
• Use of the information in this document is subject to the certification requirements for a given airplane.
• The design process should include operator training considerations throughout its development.
• PFI will be available on the flight deck at all times.
This document is meant to serve as guidance material manufacturers, operators and certifying officials on the human-factors considerations that should be included in a MFD design and implementation. The use of multifunction displays is growing rapidly throughout the aviation industry and, as with most new technologies and systems, the functional design often outpaces the integration of proper human-factors considerations. Baseline guidance is needed to achieve maximum benefit from the technology, and to allow continued growth in usage and functionality. Just because a particular application is not discussed does not preclude the use of MFDs for addition applications as technology and needs evolve.
The scope of this document and various reference materials are provided in Section 1 and Section 2. Section 3 describes the functionality that could be incorporated in MFD systems. Section 4 discusses the design objectives that should be considered in MFD design, regardless of application. Section 5 addresses implementation and integration and Section 6 discusses training. Appendices have been added to provide supporting information for the sections. Appendix A provides a matrix representation of possible combinations of displayed data. A bibliography of literature relevant to this document is presented in Appendix B.