A friend sent me an interesting link on a recent development of the European Air-Traffic control. Apparently voice channels currently used to dispatch communications are becoming increasingly insufficient to handle the mass of airplanes circulating at any given time. An experimental solution is called CONTROLLER PILOT DATA LINK COMMUNICATION.
This system is based on sending the instruction to pilot via interface, the controller click with mouse on flight level 250, and this is send to the cockpit, then the pilot see a flashing light, he acknowledges that he receive and send back massage. The operator can mark some kind of status message that will be meaningful for the second controller (en route sector is operated by executive and planner controller) the controllers can shift responsibility for the aircraft between themselves via interface input.
The interface design is reported below, while more information can be found using this link. The reasons why I found this interesting is that simple text communications will be used to coordinate actions between pilots and ground controls in very complex situations. This renew the importance of ‘minimal’ communication forms like chat in supporting collaborative work at a distance. My thesis is not wasted 🙂