US university Georgia Tech has entered into an agreement with the US Federal Aviation Administration to study pilot responses to alerts from traffic alert and collision avoidance systems used in the agency's next generation (NextGen) air traffic control system.

The FAA's agreement with Georgia Tech is the first of several pacts the agency plans to forge in the coming months with universities to study aviation-related human factors.

Under the agreement, the FAA specifically seeks to determine how pilots should respond to alerts under the NextGen system where aircraft will be able to operate closer together.

One of the university's engineering psychology professors also plans to lead a team to study how flightcrews and controllers work with current automation, and then determine how they use automation in the future to manage workloads and improve situational awareness and performance.

Georgia Tech's school of aerospace engineering features aviation research tools including air traffic control simulators and an Airbus flightdeck simulator.

Source: Flight International