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The realistic consideration of human factors in model based simulation tools for the air traffic control domain


Advanced Air Traffic Management (ATM) concepts related to automation, airspace organization and operational procedures are driven by the overall goal to increase ATM system performance. Independently on the nature and/or impact of envisaged changes (e.g. from a short term procedure adjustment to a very long term operational concept or aid tools completion), the preliminary assessment of possible gains in airspace/airport capacity, safety and cost-effectiveness is done by running Model Based Simulations (MBSs, also known as Fast Time Simulations - FTS). Being a not human-in-the-loop technique, the reliability of a MBS results depend on the accuracy and significance of modeled human factors. Despite that, it can be observed in the practice that modeling tools commonly assume a generalized standardization of human behaviors and tasks and consider a very few range of work environment factors that, in the reality, affect the actual human-system performance. The present paper is aimed at opening a discussion about the possibility to keep task description and related weight at a high/general level, suitable for an efficient use of MBSs and, at the same time, increasing simulations reliability adopting some adjustment coming from the elaboration of further variables related to the human aspects of controllers workload.