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Why TaCo?

Meet TaCo, an Exploratory Research Project shedding new light on automation in Air Traffic Management

Take Control (TaCo) is a European Union’s H2020 Research and Innovation project aiming to define an automated system supporting ground and tower controllers’ tasks in non-nominal conditions. TaCo adopts a user-centred approach to automation design. As complex automated systems are coping with extremely dynamic environments, their behaviour cannot be defined fully at design time to face all the possible unusual situations. This introduces challenges regarding the adaptiveness of the system, how to redefine the functioning of its agents when unexpected events happen and how to dynamically handover tasks and responsibilities to the human. The project was launched in June 2016 to provide solutions for a user-centred, resilient automated system, able to both support ground and tower controllers’ tasks in airport operations and assess its own ability to deal with non-nominal conditions. Three highly qualified partners form the Consortium, putting together their complementary competencies. Deep Blue, the Project Manager, is a SME leading the Human-Machine Interaction aspects of TaCo; the Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile, a research institution specialized in ATC training, performs the Modelling and Develpment; Malta Air Traffic Services provides the airport used as a case study. Currently, TaCo has produced: 1. A digital model of a simplified operations manual of the Malta International Airport, 2. A definition of operational needs for automation support in the tower, performed together with ACTOs, 3. A prototype of automated tools to support air traffic controllers in the tower. In the following months, TaCo will validate and evaluate the proposed concept according to the expected technology readiness level (TRL1). If you are an air traffic controller and you are willing to take part in the evaluation process, contact us! Visit connect on LinkedIn or email


Automation, Aviation, Air Traffic Management, Air Traffic Control