Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Computer Sciences, *human – machine relations

Publication Details

H-Workload 2017: The first international symposium on human mental workload, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland, June 28-30.


What is the impact of shifting to remote tower operations on the Air Traffic Controller? In the joint HungaroControl-Netherlands Aerospace Centre NLR pilot project an assessment of bio-behaviour on three air traffic controllers was made in a remote tower and conventional tower. The research is motivated by HungaroControl’s plans in shifting to remote tower operations at Budapest airport in the upcoming years. This pilot project is considered a feasibility study to investigate if an eye tracker and a heart rate sensor can be used to derive workload, the controllers’ division of attention over information elements, and scanning strategies in two such different environments. Given the limited number of participants and challenges in measuring workload in the two different operational environments conclusions, can only be drawn with care. Nevertheless, preliminary results suggest that there might be an increase in workload in the remote tower environment, and thus further research is needed to clarify at what extend Air Traffic Controllers’ workload could be different, what are the root causes of the increase and how that could be handled. Also the pilot study has given confidence that useful bio-behavioural measures can be obtained for comparison between the remote tower and the conventional tower, and to extend the research to a larger group of controllers.