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The Coordinative Functions of Flight Strips: Air Traffic Control Work Revisited

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Association for Computing Machinery


Cooperation in time-critical and physically distributed work settings, such as air traffic control, requires extensive coordination between the involved actors. For this coordination to be efficient the controllers rely both on the comprehensive use of rules and procedures, and on artifacts supporting them in following these procedures. At the Copenhagen Air Traffic Control Center this coordination is largely carried out through the use of a flight plan database system, paper flight strips, and a closed-circuit television system. In relation to the introduction of a new and increasingly automated system in the year 2003 this paper discusses the coordinative functions served by these three, soon to be replaced, artifacts from a design perspective. Despite the skepticism expressed in previous research, our results show that a further computerization could be successful if the coordinative functions the system currently fulfills are properly preserved.


Berndtsson, Johan; Normark, Maria (1999): The Coordinative Functions of Flight Strips: Air Traffic Control Work Revisited. Proceedings of the 1999 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work. DOI: 10.1145/320297.320308. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 101–110. Phoenix, Arizona, USA