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Air traffic controller (ATCo) expertise is crucial in safely and effectively managing operational disturbances and unpredictable events. The high level of ATCo expertise needed in these situations originates from the cognitive complexity in the ATC task. To cope with cognitive complexity in managing operational disturbances, controllers apply strategies to avoid task performance being compromised. Using the ATCo Cognitive Process and Operational Situation (ACoPOS) model, this paper clarifies the cognitive complexity involved in disturbed inbound peak operation within dense airspace for Schiphol airport at ATC the Netherlands (LVNL). Complexity issues in cognitive processes and operational factors involved are described. Strategies used by expert controllers in response to day to day disturbances in inbound peak operation are described based on results of a focus group. Results indicate the existence of new strategies, supplementary to those found in literature.