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Provides three scenarios for evolution of the United States' air traffic control (ATC) system from 1981 to 2000: a Baseline scenario in which human control skills are emphasized; an Automated En Route ATC (AERA) scenario in which most routine control functions are performed automatically by computers; and a Shared Control scenario in which human skills are augmented, but not replaced, by machine-based functions. Using the principles of cost effectiveness, technical conservatism, evolutionary progress, and human involvement as guidelines for analysis, these scenarios are compared and contrasted. Human roles, technical issues, and economic implications for each scenario are discussed, leading to the conclusion that human skills are an integral part of the ATC system and should be retained but extended via the Shared Control scenario.

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