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Behavioural Economics in ATM


Proposals and their research activities may investigate the application of behavioural economics to improve economic models in ATM by integrating an improved prediction of actual stakeholder behaviour. These activities should provide insights into how to incentivise desirable behavioural change and enable better decisions though incentives, policies, etc. Proposals should suggest a specific application and justify their selection by explaining the expected benefits of applying behavioural economics for this application.

For example, proposals may investigate suggested business changes that are expected to bring significant benefits to the ATM network and analyse how their introduction may impact the behaviour of stakeholders. The research activities are expected to provide new insights on the expected benefits and recommendations for investigated business changes. In particular proposals may, for example:

  • Investigate the introduction of new types of legal contracts and changes to regulations required by the concept of the trajectory broker which foresees an evolution of the Network Manager offering trajectory products to Airspace Users and ordering capacity from Air Navigation Service Providers. These projects should cover the relationship between Network Manager and Air Navigation Service Providers and between Network Manager and Airspace Users;
  • Aim at improving demand forecast models at network or local level by predicting passenger behaviour more accurately, for example by analysing how the modal choice is impacted by airport access time or environmental considerations;
  • Study existing capacity provision strategies of ANSPs and their impact on airline route choices in order to develop improved demand prediction models or capacity provision strategies. Furthermore, projects could aim at providing a better understanding of perceived fairness and equity of potential upcoming regulations making it possible to plan how to better implement new policies;
  • Perform a comparative study of existing controller rostering policies, including shift entry and exit times and sector rostering during a particular shift of different ANSPs, analyse their correlation to the capacity offered by the ANSP and provide recommendations for changes. Research activities must consider human performance aspects of controller rostering, as well as the psychological, cognitive, emotional, cultural and social aspects.

These examples are indicative and proposal may suggest to apply behavioural economics to other decision processes if this can be duly justified.

The application of economic models supports well targeted policy making. However, current economic models applied in ATM are often normative, thus making a number of assumptions about agent rationality that have been demonstrated not to work in practice in several cases. This is because real decision are often not fully rational. An assessment of novel ATM concepts using behavioural economics in ATM at an early design stage could help to predict the actual behaviour of ATM stakeholders and inform decisions about the specific design of the concepts and policy decision making related to their introduction.

The research will make it possible to provide a better prediction of stakeholder behaviour and contribute to inform policy making so that behaviour that improves the overall system performance be realised.