Flow-centric air traffic control

1 October 2023

Flow-Centric Air Traffic Control: Human in the Loop Simulation Experiment
AS Bin Jumad, K Tominaga, XY Chua, E Itoh, M Schultz, VN Duong. Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC) 2023

Flow-centric air traffic control is a novel approach to en-route airspace management in which controller assignment is determined by grouping factors such as similarity of trajectory, rather than the physical location of the flight (by area sector). By conducting a Human-in-the-Loop (HITL) simulation with 6 air traffic controllers (ATCOs) from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore over a period of 11 days, qualitative feedback was obtained from the ATCOs.

The key takeaways include:

  • the need to further understand the level of complexity of different intersections and merges (rather than simply setting a single difficulty or weight for such scenarios),
  • the importance of considering the difficulty/complexity factor rather than traffic volume when dealing with assignment strategy,
  • and the importance of considering human-machine interfaces dealing with zoom level or secondary windows.