ENRI papersENRI PAPER 108-1 Jan. 2004
Design and Evaluation of Air Traffic Control Assisting System for Oceanic Flight
Yutaka Fukuda, Sachiko Fukushima, Takashi Imuta, Megumi Oka and Kakuichi Shiomi
This paper describes design and evaluation of an assisting system for air traffic controllers in keeping a separation between aircraft in the oceanic airspace.
In order to keep the separation in the oceanic airspace, air traffic controllers check a longitudinal separation between leading aircraft and trailing aircraft on the same route and the same altitude before the aircraft enter into the oceanic airspace. Departing aircraft from major international airports in Japan request their air traffic control clearances for the route, speed and cruising altitude before departure. Air traffic controllers check their requests whether they would result in conflicts with other aircraft. If they find conflicts, they issue some modified plan to the aircraft such as altitude change and departure time change to resolve conflicts.
An experimental model is developed to assist the present air traffic controllers' work for merging oceanic flights. It predicts time of arrival at the entry fix in the oceanic airspace. It searches conflicts based on a time-based longitudinal separation defined with margin to absorb prediction errors. If it finds conflicts, it advises modified departure time on requested altitude and alternative altitude to resolve conflicts based on resolution rules. Air traffic controllers select one of the advisories to modify the plan. Modifying the plan is also executed with drag and drop operation of graphical user interface. It is important to adjust the margin of separation and the resolution rule to the operational environment.
Air traffic controllers participated in simulation experiments. They found it useful to detect conflicts and to advise modified departure time on requested altitude and alternative altitude.