Low Visibility Operations/Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (LVO/SMGCS) Chart Symbology

This study examined which symbol shapes are considered to be representative of information shown on Low Visibility Operations/Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (LVO/SMGCS) charts, and how useful pilots perceive that information to be. The information in this report is intended to provide data to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to identify best practices for LVO/SMGCS charts. One-hundred forty-four air transport pilots with category-III qualification and/or LVO/SMGCS training were shown symbol shapes that included symbols currently in use on LVO/SMGCS charts, symbols recommended for LVO/SMGCS charts by the International Civil Aviation Organization, and “foil” (fake) symbol shapes that are not in use. For each symbol shape, pilots responded “Yes” or “No” to whether they considered the symbol shape to be representative of a particular information type. Symbol shapes were presented alone as well as at increasing levels of context to examine whether additional airport-layout chart information helped pilots identify representative symbol shapes. Once pilots identified representative shapes, they rated the usefulness of various types of information depicted on LVO/SMGCS charts. Pilots identified real symbols as representative for geographic position markings (GPM), instrument landing system (ILS) hold lines, and the combination of runway guard lights (RGL) and stop bar lights. The majority of pilots rated the following information types to be very useful: GPM, clearance bar, ILS hold line, approach hold line position marking, stop bar lights, RGL, and the combination of RGL and stop bar lights. It is important to note that these ratings were made without operational context. Regardless of pilot ratings, all the information types in the study play a unique role in supporting LVO/SMGCS operations.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

    55 Broadway
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02142

    Federal Aviation Administration

    NextGen Human Factors Division
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Authors:
    • Sparko, Andrea L
    • Chase, Stephanie G
    • Yeh, Michelle
    • McGray, Bruce
  • Publication Date: 2016-2


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 64p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01596819
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT-VNTSC-FAA-16-05, DOT/FAA/TC-16/2
  • Contract Numbers: FAN2C4; FAN2C5
  • Created Date: Apr 1 2016 8:39AM