A computational study of autonomy and authority in air traffic control

Raunak P. Bhattacharyya, Amy R. Pritchett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


This paper reports on a new methodology to analyze the impact of a distribution of autonomy and authority within a concept of operation. Unlike Human-In-The-Loop methods, this computational methodology uses the Work Models that Compute framework to simulate the concept of operation in the very early design phases. The two key metrics assess the trace of all actions that each agent needs to perform, as well as all the information that needs to be exchanged. To demonstrate in a five aircraft scenario, the lead aircraft performs an Optimal Profile Descent arrival. Every following aircraft is tasked with maintaining an interval of 60 seconds behind the aircraft immediately in front of it. Unlike current day operations, where the air traffic controller is responsible for ensuring spacing, this authority was given to the pilots. The simulation provides a time trace of the actions performed by every pilot and the information exchanges within lead aircraft and in-trail aircraft pilot pairs. In this case, this method quickly identified how the information requirement increases in frequency further back in the aircraft sequence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 IEEE/AIAA 33rd Digital Avionics Systems Conference, DASC
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479950010
StatePublished - Dec 8 2014
Event33rd Digital Avionics Systems Conference, DASC 2014 - Colorado Springs, United States
Duration: Oct 5 2014Oct 9 2014

Publication series

NameAIAA/IEEE Digital Avionics Systems Conference - Proceedings
ISSN (Print)2155-7195
ISSN (Electronic)2155-7209


Other33rd Digital Avionics Systems Conference, DASC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityColorado Springs

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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