Int J Performability Eng ›› 2019, Vol. 15 ›› Issue (12): 3262-3270.doi: 10.23940/ijpe.19.12.p18.32623270

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Analysis of the Features of Air Traffic Controllers' Eye Movements

Fei Lua,*, Qian Wanga, Jingjie Tenga, Yan Kangb, and Bilian Liuc   

  1. aCollege of Air Traffic Management, Civil Aviation University of China, Tianjin, 300300, China;
    bOperation Control Department, China Cargo Airlines , Shanghai, 200335, China;
    cFlight Department, Tianjin Air Cargo Co., Ltd., Tianjin, 300300, China
  • Submitted on ; Revised on ; Accepted on
  • Contact: * E-mail address:

Abstract: This paper aims to study the eye fixation and eye movements of air traffic control (ATC) controllers while working. Based on the establishment of the experimental platform of control simulation, every behavior feature of eye movement was recorded under different difficulty levels of experiments. With the geographic coordinates of the controlled area being converted to their corresponding screen coordinates, the controlled area could be divided into six zones by means of clustering analysis. The percentage of fixation points per unit in Zones 1 and 2 is dramatically greater than that of other zones, as determined by computing the fixation point per unit within the six zones. The Markov theory was applied to compute the probability of one-step fixation movement within the six zones. The results demonstrate that the highest probability of one-step fixation movement exists in Zones 1, 2, and 5, where the airspace of departure and arrival, airway crossover points, and navigation stations exist. Therefore, an experienced controller attaches a greater amount of importance and attention to the congested airspace and areas where conflict could easily occur. This paper can be used as a reference for the training of newly-employed ATC controllers to work in a safer and more efficient manner.

Key words: air traffic controller, eye movement feature, Markov chain, fixation transfer