The paper “Ecological Interface Design: Control Space Robustness in Future Trajectory- based Air Traffic Control Decision Support” (Rolf Klomp co-authored with Clark Borst and Gesa Praetorius) has won the IEEE SMC Award for the best oral presentation and paper at the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society Conference 2014. This work is co-financed by EUROCONTROL acting on behalf of the SESAR Joint Undertaking (the SJU) and the EUROPEAN UNION as part of Work Package E (project C-SHARE: Joint ATM Cognition through Shared Representations) in the SESAR Program.
Ecological Interface Design: Control Space Robustness in Future Trajectory-based Air Traffic Control Decision Support
The ongoing growth of air traffic worldwide is foreseen to exceed the capacity limits of the current Air Traffic Management (ATM) system within the coming decades. In order to facilitate this increasing demand, two large-scale international collaborative research efforts (SESAR in Europe and NextGen in the US) are focused on majorly overhauling the basic principles of how air traffic is controlled. A key pillar within both research projects is to transition from the current, hands on, form of tactical control towards highly precise time-based strategic airspace management. Rather than issuing discrete instructions by direct voice communication, the language between air traffic controllers and pilots will be that of automatically generated 4D-trajectories via digital data-link.
Although the success of such a system relies heavily upon the introduction of advanced automation and a new communication infrastructure there is a general consensus in operational communities that the human air traffic controller should remain in active control. That is, given that the stakes are high and that the work domain has too many unforeseen situations to allow for a fully automated solution, the human controller will have to retain the ultimate responsibility for the safety of operations. These responsibilities, together with the complexities of the new task, require the development of innovative controller decision support tools.