CAPMOD - Capacity Modeling for Controller Workload Evaluation at RTC Arlanda.

NEW (2018-2021)

The project is motivated from the KODIC project, where we designed mathematical models for controllers rostering in a RTC, using the number of IFR flight movements as an indicator of staff workload. A natural next step to reflect the full picture of the controllers workload is to include extra traffic, ground traffic and other factors into RTC personnel planning. We observed that quantification of the controllers workload by the number of scheduled flight movements is not good enough to reflect the full picture of the controller’s tasks. According to LFV Operations, IFR traffic accounts for only ~40% of the workload at smaller airports, and in this project we will take into account other important aspects, such as ground traffic movements, bad weather conditions, seasonal variations, VFR and extra traffic movements.

ATCOs perform in a multitask environment. A vast majority of related literature report the importance of workload evaluation, and most of it base the evaluation on several complexity measures (e.g., the number of aircraft in a sector, voice messages, radar screen clicks etc.), which are used for workload representation. But to the best of our knowledge, none of them has established a generic quantity for workload measurement.

The main research questions are: Which factors contribute into controller’s workload? How the workload at RTC differs from the workload at the traditional towers?

In terms of planning traffic flow, an objective assessment of workload and airspace capacity (complexity) is crucial in order to find an appropriate level of human responsibility. This is important as the current method of evaluating workload and complexity in air traffic can be seen as imprecise, subjective, or both. This project will focus on complete and descriptive capacity modeling, which will quantify the total controller's load. Our mathematical framework will also include probabilistic modeling for increased predictability of the extra workload due to unscheduled events (extreme weather conditions, military exercise, hospital helicopters etc.).

KODIC - Kompetens, kapacitet och optimering i digital flygledningscentral

FINISHED (2016-2017)

Remote Towers Services (RTSs) are one of several technological and operational solutions that the SESAR Programme is delivering to the ATM community for deployment. Over the last years, the Swedish ANSP Luftfartsverket (LFV) has been working on the deployment of the RTS concept as an alternative to traditional Air Traffic Service (ATS).
In 2015 and 2016 LFV and Swedavia conducted a joint feasibility study to analyze the impact of the transition from traditional tower ATS to RTS for five additional appointed airports in Sweden. The study confirmed that RTS is technically and operationally feasible, the level of risk is manageable, and that it is deemed financially advantageous to use RTS for these airports. In particular, the study identified several issues related to staff scheduling when multiple airports are operated from a single center.

The main research questions are: How to distribute the workload from several airports over several controller working positions?
How to assign a qualified controller at each position, respecting the constraints on the durations of controllers shifts, breaks and the necessity of maintaining ratings?

Within the project we develop a general optimization framework designed as a flexible tool for future staff planning. The model under development is discussed with operational experts to provide a picture on staffing constraints as close as possible to reality.
The results of this work help to evaluate efficiency of the RTC concept in general and give intuition for further deployment. Furthermore, the designed techniques and tools will be applied to other sets of airports being considered for remote operation.

KODIC in LFV Nyheter


T. Andersson, P. Axelsson, J. Petersson, T. Polishchuk, V. Polishchuk, C. Schmidt. Configuration and Planning of the Remote Tower Modules in a Remote Tower Center. In ICRAT'16, Philadelphia, USA. Slides.

B. Joseffson, T. Polishchuk, V. Polishchuk, C. Schmidt. A Step Towards Remote Tower Center Deployment: Optimizing Staff Scheduling. In ATM Seminar 2017, Seattle, USA. Slides.

B. Joseffson, T. Polishchuk, V. Polishchuk, C. Schmidt. Scheduling Air Traffic Controllers at the Remote Tower Center. In DASC 2017, St. Peterburg, USA. Slides.

B. Joseffson, T. Polishchuk, V. Polishchuk, C. Schmidt. Scheduling Air Traffic Controllers at the Remote Tower Center. In Swedish Transportation Research Conference, Stockholm.

J. Dahlberg, T. Polishchuk, V. Polishchuk, C. Schmidt. Stakeholder Cooperaon for Improved Predictability and Lower Cost Remote Services. In SESAR Innovaon Days (SID 2017), Belgrad.

CYBSEC (Pre-studies)- Security and Privacy of Air Traffic Communication (Säkerhet och Integritet för Kommunikation Flygtrafik)


A number of wireless technologies are used by air traffic communication systems during different flight phases. From a conceptual perspective, all of them are insecure as security was never part of their design. Airlines and airports increasingly become targets of cyber attacks. EASA’s new cybersecurity centre registers about 1000 attacks each month. With the widespread availability of cheap and powerful tools such as software-defined radios (SDR) and drones, the high-profile incidents, such as the case of hijacked emergency signals or alleged military exercises causing aircraft to vanish from European radar screens, became potentially feasible, which has been proven recently by hackers and the academic community.

Recent contributions from academic and hacking communities have exploited potential vulnerability of air traffic communication to demonstrate attacks on some of the currently used technologies. However, not all of these contributions have resonated widely within aviation circles. There exists an obvious mismatch between security research and the aviation community concerning their approaches to the problem of air traffic communications security.

Goals. Within the project we examine the security measures currently adopted in air traffic communication in Sweden, analyse technical characteristics of the wireless ATM communication technologies and examine the possibility of attacks and unauthorised usage. The pre-studies and the follow-up studies will build a bridge between the ATM and research communities in the field of wireless communication security. We will propose a set of potential countermeasures able to defend air traffic control systems and significantly improve the security of air traffic communication networks under the existing real-world constraints.


A. Gurtov, T. Polishchuk, M. Wernberg. Controller–Pilot Data Link Communication Security. Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1636; //