It is to be expected that the task of an air traffic controller will change with the introduction of 4D (space and time) trajectories for aircraft. To support this new work, an interface for the manipulation of 4D trajectories has been created. The interface uses a time-space diagram – which shows progress of the aircraft along its planned track, in which conflict zones for conflict with other aircraft are presented, and a vertical path display, which presents the altitude along the planned track. In combination with a traditional plan-view display, and additional elements and tools in the displays to create a visual link between the paths displayed in the three displays, the interface enables the modification of a 4D planned trajectory for inbound aircraft. An experiment has been performed with a PC-based simulation. Two variants were tested, one in which the aircraft could only be controlled in the current sector, and one in which the speed (but not the path) of aircraft could be modified some time before these aircraft entered the sector; a practice expected to produce improvement of efficiency in small sectors. The results validate that the enhanced interface can be used to manage the air traffic safely and efficiently. It was also shown that the ability to manipulate the speed of an aircraft in the adjacent sector can significantly increase situation awareness and reduce controller workload.
Klomp, R. E.,
van Paassen, M.,
& Roerdink, M. I.
(2011). Air Traffic Control Interface for Creating 4D Inbound Trajectories. 16th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 263-268.