Human Factors Case

Importance of Human Factors in aviation

The role of Human Factors (HF) in the design, evaluation and implementation of ATM systems is critical, in particular because a balanced trade-off between human and machine is necessary and inevitable for future air traffic growth.

In this context, any new ATM project needs to take account of the following facts: 

  • HF issues are complex and difficult to identify;
  • HF interventions are often made too late;
  • It is not always easy to justify resources and budget for HF,
  • Acceptance by end users;
  • Applying HF flexibly, not prescriptively.

Applying the Human Factors case process

The HF Case process ensures HF integration in projects and addresses Human Factors benefits and issues throughout an ATM project life-cycle. It is a crucial validation step which ensures that a new concept or system delivers its intended ‘human’ performance.

It supports the pragmatic integration of Human Factors within a new project by analysing and optimising the human interaction with a system and its environment; it also looks at systems being operated in a normal and abnormal manner.

A HF case will be developed with the help of an HF practitioner who will make use of findings and experience to interpret a new situation and provide informed predictions to the project manager.

The HF Case process is designed to be iterative as it can be reapplied through each lifecycle phase as the project matures.

Related Documents


The HF Case is a five stage process towards a better HF integration in ATM projects with the following caracteristics :

  1. A step-by-step process to capture HF issues and benefits
  2. A process to support validation and timely interventions
  3. A support for project managers to make a case for HF with evidences
  4. A structure  to enable expert input as well as end user involvement
  5. An adaptable process to meet different project requirements


HF case stages


The HF Case can be initiated at any stage of a project’s life cycle. Ideally the HF Case should be initiated at the earliest possible stage in the project lifecycle.

HF case & project lifecycle mapping


An HF Case can be applied to a number of projects i.e.

  • Bespoke systems - new, tailor-made systems
  • Commercially available systems - 'Commercial Off The Shelf' (COTS) systems and products
  • Systems implemented elsewhere - main emphasis on local implementation issues
  • Modified systems extended by new system level functionality.

In short, an HF Case should consider anyone who is affected by system changes and how their performance contributes to the total system performance.


The Human Factors Case (HF Case) was launched in August 2004, supported by the first edition of the HF case.

Lessons learned using the HF Case in a number of EUROCONTROL projects led to the publication of a revised HF Case process during the HF Case Workshop in 2007 (zip) held at EUROCONTROL.

Between 2007 and 2010 the HF case process was applied on a variety of projects (airport, en route, concept development) at different phase of development (R&D, development, implementation). ANSP as well as research centres and industries used the process.

The HF Case is the difference between success or failure for controller tools implementation. It covers key areas that are often neglected and that are important for optimum implementation. FASTI Programme Manager

The experience gained from the application and from feedback given by HF Case users indicated some areas for further improvement.

The European Operational Concept Validation Methodology (E-OCVM) has become a standard for European projects and has been adopted by SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research)

The HF case process has been revised in 2010 and a support material for HF case application has been produced to detail the latest HF process updates.



The Human Factors (HF) Case is a process developed by EUROCONTROL to systematically address Human Factors. The HF Case tracks and manages HF Issues & Benefits for ATM projects with 5 key stages.
A completed project case id built upon iterations of the stages according to the project maturity.
The HF case Interfaces with and contributes to Safety Case, Validation, etc.; and requires clear roles, resposibilites and input/output management

Course Aim

The course will enable participants to be able to apply the HF Case as a practical HF integration process within ATM projects. All stages are detailed and practiced with examples and using the new E-tool.
Therminology, roles, and interactions with other related processes are detailed. Examples of various level of application are illustrated.


At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Recognise the roles, responsibilities, tools, and purpose required for the deployment of the HF Case
  • Display a detailed knowledge of the 5 stages of the HF Case process
  • Outline the benefits of the HF Case process for an ATM project
  • Apply Stage 1 to 4 of the HF Case process with the support of the HF Case e-tool


HF specialists and other ATM personnel with HF knowledge and experience interested in applying the HF Case in aviation projects.

Course Structure

The course is module based to learn about the HF Case Stages 1 to 5 and to use the e-tool:

  • HF Case overview and deployment
  • Applying Stages 1 to 4 using the e-tool
  • HF Case benefits
  • Building on your experience.

HF Case e-learning module

During the course, participants will practise using the HF Case e-tool which documents and tracks the HF issues for a project as it moves through the various life cycle phases.

Prior to attending the training course participants will be required to work through a 20 minute elearning package.

Course Booking

Each course is limited to a maximum of 12 places. Priority will be given to participants from ECAC ANSPs and NSAs.

Please register for the course via the IANS Training catalogue here

Further information

For further information please email Fabrice DROGOUL


The HF Case is a five-stage process to identify and treat HF issues and benefits during an ATM project throughout its lifecycle from concept to decommissioning.

The new EUROCONTROL HF Case e-tool is a standalone application to log and track HF case data throughout the five stages of the HF Case process for any ATM project. The application allows a User to:

  • Log all the important data (e.g. scope, objectives, key project stakeholders, related systems, what is changing, and who will be impacted etc)
  • Identify and prioritise HF issues and benefits
  • Plan mitigation and validation activities
  • Derive HF requirements
  • Manage the HF resources and track HF inputs and outputs
  • Summary reports are generated at each stage of the HF Case process (these are also available as Word documents).

How to become a User?

Training Requirement

Users of the EUROCONTROL HF Case e-tool need to have completed the EUROCONTROL HF Case Training Course.

License Agreement

A license agreement needs to be signed by a licensee. This license agreement protects the rights of EUROCONTROL and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the EUROCONTROL HF Case e-tool users.

For more information and a copy of the license agreement please contact Fabrice Drogoul


After completion of the registration you can download the application here:

HF Case e-Tool Feedback

If you have any suggestions on how we can improve the HF Case e-Tool, please let us know here. We would be epecially interested in hearing your ideas on:

  • New functionalities you would like to see,
  • Ways to make the tool more untuitive to use and navigate through,
  • Ways to improve user friendliness of the tool, etc...