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COCA

The principle goal of the COCA (Complexity and Capacity Analysis) project is to provide some relevant, measurable, and meaningful indicators to evaluate the intrinsic difficulty of the ATM tasks in the context of the airspace concerned.

Description

Analysis of the relationship between complexity, controller workload, sector type and capacity through comparison of indicators between different centres of control.

Context

ATM authorities wish to improve the overall productivity of the ATM system and to increase overall system capacity . It is generally accepted that controller workload is a major factor limiting sector capacity. Generally in the past, controller workload has been measured by counting the number and duration of observable tasks in relation to the number of flights controlled. More recently, it is agreed that controller workload is not just a measure of these observable tasks and their duration, but is determined by the complexity of the total environment and the circumstances under which s/he must perform the task. Presently productivity is only evaluated with regard to the number of the ATC tasks in relation to the airspace; and rough indicators such as number of nautical-miles flown through are not sufficient to evaluate complexity.

Objectives

The principle goal of COCA is to provide some relevant, measurable, and meaningful indicators to evaluate the intrinsic difficulty of the ATM tasks in the context of the airspace concerned.

The approach is to analyse the relationship between complexity, controller workload, sector type and capacity. Practical examples of these analyses are through elaboration of indicators and comparisons of their values between different European states, centres of control or between USA and Europe.

Approach

For complexity evaluation a number of generally accepted traffic criteria have been identified. The sectors are then classified into groups and the traffic criteria are then linked to workload of the task associated with the flight types. This evaluation is further refined by applying a weighting factor added to the task(s) that is related to the sector type. The sector types are obtained by statistical classification. To evaluate capacity, the concept of when a controller is occupied at a level representing a maximum workload threshold is retained. This threshold is that established in RAMS estimation of task-duration and specialisation by type of sectors. The WOODSTOCK software linked to AMOC is used to evaluate the resulting performance in terms of delay and subsequent ATC sector capacity.

Contact

Geraldine Flynn
COCA Project Manager
Email: 
 
  Last validation: 26/07/2005