Lektor Consulting Resources Finland, Finland's sole private air traffic controller training organization, has collaborated with Tampere-based software company Monad to develop an online basic air traffic controller training course. This groundbreaking program encompasses essential theoretical content and training-related simulation tasks. What sets it apart is the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into simulations, creating an authentic radio communication experience while understanding the user's speech. The online air traffic controller training is a unique global implementation, with plans to commence in the EU in January 2024.
Traditionally, air traffic controller training has been location and time-bound, requiring hands-on exercises in designated facilities using cumbersome simulators. Lektor aims to liberate theoretical learning and simulation exercises from these constraints by enhancing the training experience through gamification and flexibility.
Samuli Suokas, the founder of Lektor, envisions that the ongoing transformation of transportation and electrification of air travel will open up opportunities for commercial regional flights, increasing the global demand for skilled air traffic controllers. He emphasizes the mission to enhance aviation safety, asserting that training is crucial to achieving this goal.
Lektor's browser-based e-learning platform combines theoretical content and practical exercises into structured learning packages. The platform is uniquely tailored to the needs of air traffic controller training and includes an integrated AI-driven air traffic control simulator. This simulator allows users to perform training exercises related to basic studies without the constraints of time and place.
"We have created a radar simulator that utilizes AI language models to generate relevant and authentic-sounding radio communication in simulated air traffic situations," explains Tomi Äijö, Head of Development at Monad.
Users control aircraft in the simulation through voice commands, as well as using mouse and keyboard inputs. During the development of the simulation system, the AI was trained in the spoken language of air traffic control with input from a diverse group of test users. The model was trained to understand air traffic control phraseology and various accents.
Samuli Soukas states: "This innovative training platform is a significant step towards safer skies and showcases the potential of combining technology and aviation expertise."