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Through smart scheduling and triggering of automation support, adaptive automation has the potential to balance air traffic controller workload. The challenge in the design of adaptive automation systems isto decide how and when the automation should provide support. This paper describes the design of a novel mechanismfor adaptively invoking automation support. Whereas most adaptive automation support systems are reactive in that they invoke automation support aftercontroller workload has increased, the aim of the designed mechanism is to proactively trigger automation support priorto workload increases. To do this, the mechanism assesses the quality of air traffic controller's decisions. The designed adaptive automation system has been tested in a human-in-the-loop experiment. Results indicate that the adaptive support helpsto increase efficiency and safety as compared to manual control. However, lower triggering thresholds (resulting in more frequent automation intervention) increased the frustration level of participants (as measured with NASA TLX) and decreased acceptance of the support.