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Design of a Single Pilot Cockpit for Airline Operations. Jonathan Graham, Chris Hopkins, Andrew Loeber , Soham Trivedi. Overview. Problem : Poor financial performance in commercial aviation and predicted pilot shortage

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design of a single pilot cockpit for airline operations
Design of a Single Pilot Cockpit for Airline Operations

Jonathan Graham, Chris Hopkins, Andrew Loeber, SohamTrivedi

overview
Overview
  • Problem: Poor financial performance in commercial aviation and predicted pilot shortage
  • Need: System needed to reduce airline costs and hedge potential pilot shortages
  • How: Single Pilot Cockpit system potentially reduces pilot labor need and airline labor cost
  • OurJob: Analyze design alternative’s ability to meet system need within project scope and stakeholder win-win
  • Outcomes: Recommend systems based on the derived feasibility of designing a Single Pilot Cockpit
agenda
Agenda

Context

Stakeholder Analysis

Problem & Need

Requirements

Design Alternatives

Simulation & Methodology

Results

Recommendation

Project Management

scope
Scope
  • Large Commercial Air Transportation
    • Passenger and Cargo Carriers
    • Carriers With Operating Revenue >$20 Million
    • Domestic Operations
  • US Airspace
    • National Airspace System (NAS)
    • ATC
    • FAA Regulatory Body
  • Financial data adjusted for inflation to 2012 dollars
  • Flight safety is maintained
slide5

Bankruptcies Filed

  • Large air carriers as a whole have had volatile financial performance
  • The year 2000 was the tipping point
  • 30% of US Airlines filed for Chapter 11 between 2000-2010

[1] BTS Schedule P1.2

*Values are inflation adjusted to 2012 based on consumer price index

slide6

Projected growth in operating expense

  • Reducing operating expense relative to operating revenue is good for financial stability

[2] BTS Schedule P5.2

*Values are inflation adjusted to 2012 based on consumer price index

slide7

[3] BTS Schedule P5.2

  • Large percentage of operating expense is composed of fuel and pilot labor costs
    • Fuel costs are a variable cost
    • Pilot labor costs are easier to control

*Values are inflation adjusted to 2012 based on consumer price index

slide8

[4] BTS Schedule P10

[5] WSJ Airlines Face Acute Shortage of Pilots, Carey et al.

The number of pilots has been relatively static for the last decade

Pilot labor growth has been much greater in the past

Flight hour requirements and decreased retirement age impacting future pilot supply

6% Growth in commercial pilot labor projected from 2012-2022 using FAA forecasts for 2013-2033 [9]

~4,500 Air Transport Pilot licenses per year from 2004-2012 [5]

*8.94% attrition rate and fixed licensure rate used to plot shortage curve in red [11]

slide9

[6] BTS Schedule P10

The cost per pilot has a period of decline from 2000-2008

Slowly increasing at present

Pay schedules established for salary increases

[7] BTS Schedule P5.2

*Values are inflation adjusted to 2012 based on consumer price index

historical cockpit devolution
Historical Cockpit Devolution

Historically the need for cost reduction has changed the roles of the flight crew

Size of the cockpit flight crew has been shrinking

slide11

Radio Operator

Co-Pilot?

Flight Engineer

Navigator

Is a Single Pilot Cockpit the Next Step?

the flight deck
The Flight Deck
  • Two pilots operate the aircraft
    • Pilot Flying
      • Flies the Aircraft
      • Confirms Callouts
    • Pilot Not Flying
      • Inspects/Manipulates Instruments
      • Performs Callouts
      • Interacts with ATC
      • Flies on Behalf of Pilot
  • Both captain and co-pilot can take on each role during a flight
cockpit avionics
Cockpit Avionics

Center Instrument Panel

1st Officer’s Instrument Panel

MCP

Overhead Panel

MCDU

flight procedures
Flight Procedures
  • Procedures are followed to operate an aircraft
  • Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM) RJ100
    • Describes flight procedures
    • Official FAA approved document
  • Identifies responsible entities for procedural tasks
    • Pilot Flying (PF)
    • Pilot Not Flying (PNF)
procedure decomposition
Procedure Decomposition
  • A procedure is decomposed by tasks and physical/cognitive actions that are required to execute a task
  • FCOM Codifies Procedures
    • 63 Procedures
    • 613 Total Tasks
    • 737 Total Actions
  • Procedures are decomposed to identify potential reallocation of actions to a design alternative

Procedure

Tasks

Actions

agenda1
Agenda

Background & Context

Stakeholder Analysis

Problem & Need

Requirements

Design Alternatives

Simulation & Methodology

Results

Recommendation

Project Management

stakeholder interactions
Stakeholder Interactions

Support SPC

Reserved about SPC

Oppose SPC

agenda2
Agenda

Background & Context

Stakeholder Analysis

Problem & Need

Design Alternatives

Simulation & Methodology

Results

Recommendation

Project Management

problem statement
Problem Statement
  • Rising operating expense contributes to financial instability in commercial aviation
    • Profitability is difficult to achieve
  • Pilot labor shortage predicted
need statement
Need Statement
  • Airlines will continue to have volatile financial performance if operating costs continue to grow
    • Variable costs like fuel driving operating expense
    • Labor expense can be controlled more effectively
  • A single pilot cockpit is needed to decrease labor expense and mitigate the effects of a pilot shortage
win win analysis
Win-Win Analysis

+10-15 Years

+20-30 Years

+40 Years

Today

Two Pilot Cockpit

Two Pilot Cockpit with Alternative

Evaluation of Alternative

Single Pilot Cockpit

  • Majority of stakeholders involved have serious conflicts with moving to a single-pilot system
  • However, these issues can be mitigated by extending the phase-in process
    • Helps to minimize safety concerns brought on by major systemic change
    • Decreases financial risk
    • Gradual labor downsizing
agenda3
Agenda

Background & Context

Stakeholder Analysis

Problem & Need

Requirements

Design Alternatives

Simulation & Methodology

Results

Recommendation

Project Management

agenda4
Agenda

Background & Context

Stakeholder Analysis

Problem & Need

Requirements

Design Alternatives

Simulation & Methodology

Results

Recommendation

Project Management

design alternatives
Design Alternatives

Two Pilot Cockpit (No Change)

Single Pilot with No Support

Onboard Procedure Support System

Remote Ground Pilot Terminal

physical process diagram
Physical Process Diagram

Flight Goal

System

Start Aircraft State

Target Aircraft State

Pilots

Procedures

integration concept
Integration Concept

MCP

Center Instrument Panel

1st Officer’s Instrument Panel

Onboard Alternative

Remote Alternative

Overhead Panel

MCDU

slide33

No Change to current two pilot system

Nothing is modified from operating manual

slide34

Remove the co-pilot and transfer all the procedures to the remaining pilot

  • No new systems supporting the single pilot
slide36

Onboard system integrating with avionics

  • Can receive inputs from avionics to automate pilot actions and provide feedback to pilot flying
  • No ability to control plane
    • Report to PF who controls ops
    • Interactive front end for pilot
slide37

Some PNF actions taken over by automation

  • Used for situational awareness for PF during a procedure
slide38

Ground pilot monitors flight and interacts with ATC on behalf of the airplane

No control capability

Requires specialized ground networks and infrastructure

slide39

Some PNF actions taken over by ground pilot

  • Primarily handles ATC & diagnostic procedures
agenda5
Agenda

Background & Context

Stakeholder Analysis

Problem & Need

Requirements

Design Alternatives

Simulation & Methodology

Results

Recommendation

Project Management

model simulation assumptions
Model & Simulation Assumptions

Flight safety is maintained or improved

Keystroke Level Model and other human computer interaction parameters approximate operator actions in cockpit

Ignore future/emerging aviation systems

Human factors out of scope

Assume alternatives follow contemporary avionics costs

RJ100 FCOM is representative of similar operating manuals compiled by commercial airlines

Assume procedures in operating manual are complete representation of flight

Ignore additional company specific pilot tasks

procedural model
Procedural Model
  • Input data derived from RJ100 Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM)
  • Convert FCOM and classify procedures based on ontology
    • Procedures are changed for each alternative
    • One procedure model for each alternative
  • Each alternative’s procedural model is translated into an XML representation
    • XML is parsed into simulation
procedural simulation
Procedural Simulation

Simulation

Processing Time

Procedure Model

Java program

Input procedural model for each alternative

Output Alternative Processing Time (APT)

Run several simulation replications for each alternative and perform statistical tests on results

business case
Business Case
  • Develop model and simulation to analyze alternatives’ cost feasibility
  • Aircraft lifecycle cost
    • Data collected for Boeing 737-300 (most common aircraft)
    • Random variables describe costs (BTS data)
  • Use Monte Carlo to get average aircraft lifecycle cost
  • If LCC>Labor Cost – system is not worthwhile
value hierarchy
Value Hierarchy

Single Pilot Utility

Alternative Processing Time

Safety

TRL

Profitability

Maintenance

Training

Liability

Usability

In Scope

Out of Scope

agenda6
Agenda

Background & Context

Stakeholder Analysis

Problem & Need

Requirements

Design Alternatives

Simulation & Methodology

Results

Recommendation

Project Management

anticipated results
Anticipated Results
  • Expect the Procedural Support System and Ground Pilot Terminal to reduce processing times
    • Unsupported Single Pilot will have highest processing times
  • Cost of Ground Pilot Terminal will be significant
    • Cost of Unsupported Single Pilot and Procedure Support will be the least
agenda7
Agenda

Background & Context

Stakeholder Analysis

Problem & Need

Requirements

Design Alternatives

Simulation & Methodology

Results

Recommendation

Project Management

anticipated recommendation
Anticipated Recommendation

+10-15 Years

+20-30 Years

+40 Years

Today

Two Pilot Cockpit

Two Pilot Cockpit with Alternative

Evaluation of Alternative

Single Pilot Cockpit

Will recommend keeping two pilot cockpit and evolve alternative system per the win-win scenario

Procedure Support system to be phased in and evaluated for the eventual change to the single pilot cockpit

agenda8
Agenda

Background & Context

Stakeholder Analysis

Problem & Need

Requirements

Design Alternatives

Simulation & Methodology

Results

Recommendation

Project Management

schedule detail
Schedule Detail
  • Critical Paths:
    • 10.0 Deliverable Preparation & Assembly
    • 8.0 Modeling & Simulation
  • Majority of subtasks completed in first semester with long run subtasks remaining leading to competition
budgeting parameters
Budgeting Parameters

$50.00 base hourly rate

$106.38 hourly rate w/ GMU overhead factor

Estimate 701 hours

Budgeted Cost of $74,574.47

slide60

Faculty Presentations

Final Draft

Conferences

Abstract & Manuscript

Final Proposal

sources
Sources

[1] BTS Schedule P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295

[2] BTS Schedule P5.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=297

[3] BTS Schedule P5.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=297

[4] BTS Schedule P10 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=302

[5] WSJ Airlines Face Acute Shortage of Pilots http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970203937004578079391643223634#articleTabs%3Darticle

[6] BTS Schedule P10 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=302

[7] BTS Schedule P5.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=297

[8] BTS T-100 Market & Segment http://apps.bts.gov/xml/air_traffic/src/index.xml#MonthlySystem

[9] FAA Aerospace Forecast FY2013-2033 http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/apl/aviation_forecasts/aerospace_forecasts/2013-2033/media/2013_Forecast.pdf

[10] Inflation CPI Source http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/

[11] US Pilot Labor Supply http://www.faa.gov/news/conferences_events/aviation_forecast_2010/agenda/media/GAF%20Jim%20Higgins%20and%20Kent%20Love.pdf

slide65

[8] BTS T-100 Market & Segment

[9] FAA Aerospace Forecast FY2013-2033

Passenger demand increase of 30% projected over next 10 years [8]

Commercial aviation under pressure to meet demand while achieving profitability

*Values are inflation adjusted to 2012 based on consumer price index

slide68

Decompose tasks into Excel

  • Select roles and cognitive functions
    • Visual Instrument Inspection
    • Visual Environment Inspection
    • Verbal Callout
    • Physical Instrument Manipulation
    • Etc.
slide69

Parse Excel spreadsheet into an XML schema

Hierarchy of tasks captured by XML

Parsed into simulation