Ecological Interface Design: Training Air Traffic Control Novices in Conflict Detection and Resolution:

by RM Visser

Institution: Delft University of Technology
Year: 2016
Keywords: Ecological Interface Design; Novice Training; Air Traffic Control; Conflict Detection and Resolution; Decision Ladder
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2072512
Full text PDF: http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:409cef9e-6a29-45c4-b54f-27839ecea614


Ecological Interface Design is an interface design framework developed for process control, and recently also in aviation. An example is the Solution Space Diagram, a visual decision-support tool for air traffic controllers in Conflict Detection and Resolution. Costly Air Traffic Control training with high drop-out rates spurs research to improve training methods. This paper presents research into the possible benefits of ATC training of novice controllers with the SSD interface. Predicted benefits include better performance and better decision-making-behavior, due to the cognition support during the novice training. A human-in-the-loop experiment with sixteen participants was performed, where participants were trained, and later tested, in solving aircraft conflicts of different geometrical orientations. Objective performance data of trainee solutions showed slightly better performance and longer response times for the group training with the SSD. Subjective behavioral analysis recorded more goal-orientated behavior opposed to task-oriented behavior, hinting at a higher situation awareness and a more critical decision-making process, especially in near perpendicular and unequal arrival conflict types. Whether this behavior, with more reflection during decision-making, could be valuable for a deeper understanding and improvement in the learning process is yet to be tested, as the longer response times contradict with the decisiveness expected from operational air traffic controllers. Further research is needed to statistically confirm the initial findings. Advisors/Committee Members: Borst, C., Mulder, M., Van Paassen, M.M..