instrument displays in a jetliners cockpit

FAA Updating Flight Crew Alerting Standards

The new proposed rule would encompass all alerting functions, not just visual displays, and would limit the use of red, amber, and yellow in the flight deck to reduce potential human errors caused when those colors are used in non-alerting ways.

Acting to revise 14 CFR 25.1322 for the first time since it took effect in February 1977, the Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a rule to modernize its existing regulations for flight crew alerts in the cockpit. The revised section would encompass all alerting functions, not just visual displays, and would limit the use of red, amber, and yellow in the flight deck to reduce potential human errors caused when those colors are used in non-alerting ways.

FAA and the industry agree the current Section 25.1322 is outdated and does not match state-of-the-art flight deck display technology, which includes electronic displays that integrate warning, caution, and advisory text messages. For example, the current section does not contain requirements for minimizing nuisance alerts and prescribes only the color "amber" for caution lights, although yellow has also been accepted as an aviation industry standard for caution alerts.

Proposed Section 25.1322(f) would allow the use of red, amber, and yellow for non-alerting functions only if the applicant shows that use is limited and would not adversely affect flight crew alerting. The changes would set up a hierarchy of alerts -- advisory, caution, warning -- and would require alerts to be readily and easily detectable and intelligible by the flight crew in all foreseeable operating conditions, including where multiple alerts are provided.

FAA will accept comments until Sept. 8. Send them, identified by Docket Number FAA 2008-1292, to www.regulations.gov.

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