Between Game and Reality: Using Serious Games to Analyze Complex Interaction Processes in Air Traffic Management

  • Maria Freese
  • Sebastian Drees
  • Malte Meinecke
Conference paper
Part of the Translational Systems Sciences book series (TSS, volume 9)


In 2010 the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull paralyzed a large part of the European air traffic. Results were massive restrictions in the European and intercontinental air traffic. Even after canceling the aircraft grounding, airport operators, airlines, air traffic controllers, and ground handlers had to deal with the situation that the aircraft and crews were not in the places where they should have been for the correct execution of the flight plan. To be able to guarantee the most efficient air traffic, the relevant stakeholders had to cooperate. Divergent goals and interests can significantly affect a solution. Therefore this cooperative coordination is difficult. It is visible that the process of decision-making, especially in the context of air traffic management (ATM), must be investigated. Human interactions during negotiations and human performance in planning activities should be analyzed. These aspects are difficult to measure with conventional methods of real- or fast-time simulations. Serious gaming is a new method in this research field to validate complex operational concepts in the ATM field. For this a paper-based multiplayer serious game, called Total Airport Management Simulation, was developed. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the further development of this paper-based version. In the first section, the paper-based serious game with its main ideas is presented. Based on conducted tests of the serious game, requirements for the digital prototype were deduced. In the later part of this paper, the digital prototype with some new elements will be introduced. In summary using serious games is one possibility to analyze complex interaction processes in ATM.


Air traffic management Decision-making Serious games 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Aerospace Center (DLR)Institute of Flight GuidanceBraunschweigGermany
  2. 2.HTW BerlinUniversity of Applied ScienceBerlinGermany
  3. 3.OSTIA-Spiele GbRLengedeGermany

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