Successful CDO SIM Trials at AIR Lab

During the week of April 23rd, the AIR Lab hosted Continous Descent Operation (CDO)  simulation trials. The trials featured two groups of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs), each consisting of 2 ACCs and 1 APP, guided by coaches Victoria and Ruzaini from CAAS, with operational support from Rick LYE, Cyril Martin, and Mark Oflynn , ATM experts at the AIR Lab. They coordinated the CDO simulations, ensuring the smooth execution of the three-day trials by managing ATCO observations via Incident Report Forms, setting up the SIM trials, creating session templates, and compiling KPIs and questionnaire feedback.

The primary aim was to evaluate and refine  (CDO) through realistic simulations. The CDO SIM trials aimed to gather feedback from ATCOs on the latest developments, boost their confidence in using the CDO Advisory Tool, and identify potential areas for further enhancements. The CDO Advisory Tool is designed to assist ATCOs in managing aircraft descents more efficiently and in adherence to CDO procedures. By increasing ATCOs’ confidence, they are more likely to effectively utilize these tools in real-world scenarios. The trials also sought to identify any challenges or gaps ATCOs encountered, providing valuable insights for future development and improvement efforts.

The trials utilized the T-SIM simulator, allowing ATCOs to practice commands such as DCT (direct) and Clear Flight Level . Conducted over three days, the trials involved three templates :no CDO/ CDO 2023 / CDO 2024 software versions—culminating in 9 exercises per group

The outcomes of the trials indicated a slight reduction in ATCO workload during both CDO sessions (2023 and 2024) compared to non-CDO sessions, as shown by collected KPIs. Additionally, the data confirmed improved Continuous Descent Level  (CDL) accuracy in the 2024 sessions compared to 2023. Feedback from ATCOs via questionnaires was positive regarding the features and performance of the 2024 CDO sessions, suggesting a successful trial with potential for ongoing adoption and enhancement.

The feedback and data gathered will be instrumental in refining future CDO procedures. The improvements suggested by ATCOs will be implemented in upcoming development sprints, paving the way for more efficient air traffic management.

Snapshots from the trials at the AIR Lab :

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