Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research

Article Title

The Complex Cognitive Process Needed to Understand Airport Guidance Signs


Author #1


Airport guidance signs are a visual information system. It can be equated to a street sign arrangement for conveying runway and taxiway assistance. Pilots have to learn, comprehend, and interpret each sign's meaning for understanding to occur. The FAA makes this simple by dictating the standardization of signs. Flight crews still have a daunting task of assimilating the message in the brief time that each sign is viewed. When combining simple colors, symbols, letters, and numbers, these elements form an elaborate organization of meaning. The cognitive mental process that takes place is complex. This diversity is complicated even more with the many exceptions to the rule that apply. One must filter through the different scenarios to grasp the sign's message.