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The CTFM concept of operations explores how collaboration can improve the efficiency of air traffic flow management, as well as the satisfaction level of the airspace users. The original field studies and concept development were conducted before the Intelligent Systems Division’s involvement. The current focus of the project is to simulate (in software) aspects of the concept of operations, revealing possible benefits and issues before employing human-in-the-loop simulations. CTFM researchers are developing agent-based models to simulate the collaboration processes in the final simulation.

The work focuses on the design of an agent-based simulation of CTFM, a set of experiments on the route selection phase of CTFM, and the resulting performance when airspace users (agents) could choose route alternatives directly, under different levels of central control. The results showed that the distributed decision making of the independent agents could result in better overall performance than when under strict central control, but could also produce worse results under certain scenarios when uncooperative behavior remained unchecked.

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