Document Type


Date of Award



College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (COSET)

Degree Name

MS in Transportation Planning & Management

Committee Chairperson

Carol A Lewis

Committee Member 1

Mehdi Azim

Committee Member 2

Gwendolyn Goodwin

Committee Member 3

Hector Miranda


Transportation at large is becoming increasingly automated, and aviation has often been at the forefront of this technological movement. Automation’s presence in the cockpit has been quite advantageous by improving economics, enhancing safety, and arguably reducing workload. However, its implementation has also presented several challenges, including but not limited to complacency and overreliance on automation, manufacturer design errors, and automation surprise. To overcome these challenges and mitigate safety issues preemptively, methods and strategies must be devised to improve the implementation of automation in aviation. Upon review of eight case studies from accident reports where the use of automation was a contributing factor, several recommendations were developed to improve the implementation of automation in aviation. Airline operators should encourage the use of manual flying skills when applicable and ensure that crews are competently educated and trained on automated systems. Manufacturers on the other had should increase the collaboration during the design phase with both the end user and regulatory agency, strengthen the utilization of the Human Centered Approach to systems integration and improve Human Factors and Ergonomics studies for instrumentation to improve ease of use for pilots. As the world becomes more technologically advanced, the delicate relationship between man and machine must be carefully managed.