ATC Complexity and Controller Workload: Trying to Bridge the Gap

Sylvie Athènes, Philippe Averty, Stephane Puechmorel, Daniel Delahaye and Christian Collet

Considerable research has been conducted to identify a useful set of Air Traffic Control complexity factors. It is now necessary to determine, on the one hand, how these factors affect ATC complexity and controller workload and, on the other hand, how ATC complexity and controller workload interact. This line of research should lead to elaboration of guidelines to improve sector configuration and traffic flow as well as to produce automation tools and procedures to reduce controller workload This paper addresses the problem of formulating a functional relationship between ATC complexity and workload using a parameter reflecting intrinsic air traffic complexity -a measure of disorder of aircraft trajectories assumed to estimate cognitive difficulty-, a computed index, the Traffic Load Index, and psychophysiological parameters to characterize workload. Preliminary results concerning workload assessment are reported.


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