Simulating the risks from aircraft debris to the public on the ground

Arnaud Prouzeau, Chris W. Johnson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) identify an Airprox to be a situation in which, in the opinion of a pilot or air traffic services personnel, the distance between aircraft as well as their relative positions and speed have been such that the safety of the aircraft involved may have been compromised. These are relatively rare events but they must be reported and investigated in order to reduce future risks. Airprox investigations and similar studies into near-miss incidents focus on the risk to passengers and crew. They do not consider the impact of debris. This raises concerns when, for example, the Bijlmermeer crash led to the deaths of 39 people on the ground. This paper presents a system that was developed to simulate the risks from aircraft debris on ground-based infrastructures. The system was developed and validated with help from Airprox investigators. To this end, a User Centered Design process was applied; analysing the activities and needs of potential users from two European investigation agencies. The following pages present the key design decisions, provide insights into the development process and identify limitations with our existing system. The closing sections identify further applications of this approach and suggest areas for further work.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ATACCS'2015
Subtitle of host publication5th International Conference on Application and Theory of Automation in Command and Control Systems
EditorsMichael Feary, Thomas Feuerle, Cristina Gonzalez Rechea, Francisco Javier Saez, Chris Johnson, Célia Martinie, Philippe Palanque, Alberto Pasquini, Pim van Leeuwen, Marco Winckler
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450335621
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Application and Theory of Automation in Command and Control Systems 2015 - Toulouse, France
Duration: 30 Sept 20152 Oct 2015
Conference number: 5th


ConferenceInternational Conference on Application and Theory of Automation in Command and Control Systems 2015
Abbreviated titleATACCS 2015


  • Air traffic management.
  • Airprox
  • Aviation safety
  • Human computer interaction
  • Human factors
  • Risk assessment

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