To safely meet future traffic demands, several European airports (e.g. Paris CDG, London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol, Frankfurt, Geneva) have recently introduced Advanced Surface Movement and Guidance Control Systems (A-SMGCS), and more airports are expected to follow suit in the coming years. A-SMGCS, with its HMI based on a visual display capable of depicting all the traffic at the airport, is more than merely a convenient addition to the outside visual view from the control room. It enables aerodrome controllers and Apron Management Service personnel (‘apron controllers’) to maintain a high rate of traffic movements, even during low visibility. At the same time, the system functions as a barrier against dangerous incursions on runways, taxiways and restricted areas. ICAO (2004) and EUROCONTROL (2005a) have roughly defined four levels of A-SMGCS implementation, as follows: (I) improved surveillance, (II) improved alerting, (III) improved route planning and guidance, and (IV) improved control. Levels I and II have already found wide adoption, whereas levels III and IV appear to be still under development (EMMA-2, 2006). This paper will focus on the implications of levels I and II A-SMGCS for training and selection of tower and apron controllers1.The introduction of A-SMGCS advanced functionality will force significant changes in the functional roles and the tasks of the aerodrome controllers (runway controllers, ground controllers) and apron controllers. Given the apparent trend toward more integrated airport operations, one of the more significant changes will likely be a general shift from communication and co-ordination tasks to that of maintaining (shared) situation awareness (SA). SA maintenance will in turn likely rely on striking the proper balance of attention between an out-the-window view and A-SMGCS tools and displays. With respect to licensing and training, the anticipated changes forced by A-SMGCS will center on development of a more professional culture, tighter integration between airport actors and more elaborate training schemes.
Roessingh, J. J.,
van der Vliet-Perreijn, S.,
& Hilburn, B.
(2007). Advanced Airport Surface Operations in ATM - Implications for Training of End-Users. 2007 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 593-598.