Air-ground integration experiment

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Authors: Kim Cardosi
Karen DiMeo
Parimal Kopardekar
Sandy Lozito
Margaret-Anne Mackintosh
Tom McCoy
Randy Sollenberger, PhD.

DiMeo, K., Sollenberger, R., Kopardekar, P., Lozito, S., Mackintosh, M., Cardosi, K., McCloy, T. (2002). Air-ground integration experiment (DOT/FAA/CT-TN02/06). Atlantic City International Airport: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center


The concept of free flight is intended to provide increased flexibility and efficiency throughout the global airspace system. This idea could potentially shift aircraft separation responsibility from air traffic controllers to flight crews creating a ‘shared-separation’ authority environment. A real-time, human-in-the-loop study was conducted using facilities at NASA Ames Research Center and the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center. The goal was to collect data from controllers and pilots on shared-separation procedures, information requirements, workload, and situation awareness. The experiment consisted of four conditions that varied levels of controller and flight crew separation responsibilities. Twelve controllers and six pilots were provided with enhanced traffic and conflict alerting systems. Results indicated that while safety was not compromised, pilots and controllers had differing opinions regarding the application of these new tools and the feasibility of the operational concept. This limited investigation demonstrated the need to further explore the shared-separation concept.