Four years ago, the Eastern Joint Computer Conference was held in this same city. At the first session of that Conference, Vernon Weihe, representing the Air Transport Association of America, stated that "the need for automatic computation and automatic data handling (in air-traffic control) is immediate and urgent." He challenged the computer industry and the aviation industry to meet this need with sound system design incorporating human engineering and the rapidly advancing technical developments of the day. The paper took note of the fact that a start had already been made with the installation of a magnetic drum-message storage and processing system at the CAA Technical Development Center in Indianapolis, Ind. This present paper is somewhat in the nature of a status report, describing how the Civil Aeronautics Administration is beginning to use electronic computers for air-traffic control operations. In order to understand this application, it will be necessary to consider briefly the manual operations which are to be replaced.
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