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Abstract

The increase of automation in the aviation industry poses challenges to human performance. To attest this point, studies about aircraft accidents reveal that pilots’ response to automated systems is not always coherent. Research findings suggest that pilots’ interaction with automated systems in highly demanding task situations results in an increase in workload, and if they are unable to resolve it in time, it will compromise flight safety. Therefore, in the interest to further explore the impact of automation on human factor constructs, the study aimed to investigate the impact of Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) on pilot workload. The study measured the workload experienced by pilots in a visual flight rule approach in expected and unexpected situations with the use of EFB and paper chart displays. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration -Task Load Index was used to measure pilot workload. The results showed a significant difference in pilot workload between expected and unexpected approaches indicating the influence of pilot workload during highly demanding tasks. However, there was no significant difference in the pilot workload between the use of EFB and paper at approach. There was also no significant interaction between approach and display. It is suggested that future studies increase the sample size and explore more demanding flight situations that allow further use of EFB functionalities.

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