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Modelling Confusions in Aircraft Call-signs

Business Challenge

SYS Consulting was asked by National Air Traffic Services Ltd (NATS) to investigate what they perceived as a growing and urgent problem of confusions amongst aircraft call-signs, and to propose a way of automatically assigning call-signs that were unlikely to be confused.

Our Solution & Expertise

Using our knowledge of speech science and expertise in speech technology, we developed software that was able to predict how confusable a particular call-sign would be with other call-signs, and to provide a list of signs that were best avoided because their potential for confusion was quite high.

When benchmarking the developed software against a database of actual confusions held by NATS, the agreement was excellent, and our model predicted some specific observed effects, such as words in the middle of groups are more likely to be confused than words at the beginning or end.

Business Benefit

National Air Traffic Services Ltd was able to use this information to improve the assignment of call-signs to aircraft to decrease the potential for call-sign confusion that could have disastrous consequences.

More Detail

For further information download the full Modelling Confusions in Aircraft Call-signs Case Study.