Photo: DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH
The department of Controller Assistance develops and tests methods and procedures to support air traffic controllers in the monitoring, planning and guidance of air and ground traffic, particularly at busy airports. High traffic density airports are becoming more and more the bottlenecks in the overall transport network. This presents a challenge to the mobility of people that has to be met by using existing infrastructure in an efficient and environmental friendly manner.
New and optimized procedures, supported by highly automated systems, are developed to ensure the efficient use of existing infrastructure. Performance parameters, such as capacity, punctuality, noise, and CO2 are taken into account, as well as the associated costs for fuel and noise-abatement measures. Automation assists controllers to guide air and ground traffic in a time and location based manner with adequate accuracy.
Controller Assistance strives to answer the following key questions:
- How can improvements be achieved in productivity, capacity, punctuality, environmental impact, safety, and predictability?
- How can air traffic controllers be supported to detect exceptional situations and assisted in possible solutions, while keeping them in the decision loop?
- What new operational procedures and methods have to be developed for this purpose?
- How do systems have to be designed in assisting air traffic controllers?
- How can controller tasks be kept manageable in a sufficient level of workload?
- What measures and actions are required to introduce these systems?
Our strategic goal is to support air traffic management by using modular systems that can be applied in different flight phases. For this purpose, prototype systems and procedures are developed and established that also meet non-functional requirements, such as resilience and reusability. The applicability of these concepts is validated in human-in-the-loop simulations by the real end-users.