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Could Augmented Reality take over Air Traffic Control?

Systematic Literature Review

February 15, 2021


There are only a handful of professions that require computers and their operators to work perfectly together such as in Air Traffic Control (ATC). Luckily, there have been rarely any incidents in the past originating from faulty systems and failure within human-computer-interactions. But operating an airport with over a thousand arrivals and departures every day has always been a huge challenge for the ATC operators (ATCOs) and to increase the efficiency isn't desired but required to prevent potential crashes and system failures. Many efforts were taken into the direction of digitizing the old systems, but the core of the workflow of an ATCO remained the same.
Since the late 1990s a new approach rapidly gained interest, due to its ability of using old analog, tangible systems, while incorporating digital advantages. Augmented Reality (AR) has been a topic ever since and several prototypes and studies were conducted. My goal within this systematic literature review is to show the current state of said research, review its literature and summarize its contents to positively answer the self-imposed question. AR could substantially change the way controllers operate at the largest airports in the world, for the better.

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