ATC Visual Search Patterns

//ATC Visual Search Patterns
ATC Visual Search Patterns2020-11-02T08:39:00-04:00

PROJECT TITLE: Characterization and Application of Air Traffic Controllers Visual Search Patterns and Control Strategies for Efficient and Effective Training

Project completed Apr. 2018


  • PI: Dr. Ziho Kang, Assistant Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Oklahoma
  • Co-PI: Dr. John Dyer, Research Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Oklahoma
  • Co-PI: Prof. Stephen West, Director of the University of Oklahoma Department of Aviation’s Controller Training Initiative (AT-CTI), University of Oklahoma
  • Student: Saptarshi Mandal, Ricardo Palma Fraga, Uchenna Kelvin Egwu, Sarah McClung
  • FAA Sponsor: Jason Demagalski, Technical Training (AJI-2)
  • FAA Technical Monitor: Rachel Seely


This proposed project aims to characterize and classify the visual scanning patterns and control strategies of expert air traffic control specialists (ATCSs) in order to support the efficient and effective training of air traffic control candidates. We will collect eye movement data and aircraft control commands from multiple expert ATCSs, and develop designs to better provide the characterized and classified visual search and control strategies.

Expected Project Outcomes:

  1. Perform requirement analysis and development of scenarios.
  2. Characterization and classification of expert ATCO’s visual search patterns.
  3. Characterization and classification of expert ATCO’s aircraft control strategies.
  4. Development of designs to better provide the characterization and classification results.

Value of Research:

The focus of this research was to develop a better understanding of the underlying motives behind the visual scanning and searching strategies, methods of conflict control and overall decision-making made by expert Air Traffic Controllers in a high fidelity simulation through the analysis of scanpaths from eye-tracking data and protocol.


HF003 2017 Expo Poster

HF003 2017 Quadchart

HF003 2018 Technical Poster

HF003 2019 Quadchart

HF003 2019 Presentation

HF003 2019 Technical Poster

HF003 2020 Technical Poster

HF003 Team’s Poster Presentation – Video


HF003 Data visualization approaches in eye tracking to support the learning of air traffic control operations

HF003 Characterization of air traffic controllers’ visual search patterns and control strategies

HF003 Real-time eye movement analysis framework