Metropolregion Hamburg

HYBRID - decision-making in hybrid teams

Air Transportation SystemLeading-Edge Cluster Competition

The DLR Department of Aviation and Space Psychology is investigating whether human personality factors influence interaction with highly automated systems – the hybrid human/machine team.

The automation of work processes in aviation progresses unabated. At the same time, the possibilities for automating Air Traffic Management (ATM) are limited, so that human actors will continue to carry the responsibility of decision-making in the future. Human actors in aviation will be supported, but not replaced, by automation.

The introduction of new automated functions, for example as part of the “Single European Sky” programme, will mean that the central teamwork within aviation careers (e.g. pilot/copilot or radar/air traffic controller) will move from purely human teams to hybrid teams (human/system components). The “Hybrid” project, therefore, is investigating whether or not personality factors influence performance development in hybrid teams.

Findings about the relationship between personality traits and performance output in hybrid teams will make it possible to analyse decision-making behaviour in hybrid teams. This can in turn be used at a technical level in the design of new, highly automated systems, as well as in training needs analysis when such processes are introduced. 

The decisive benefit to be obtained in the field of human factors comes from developing suitably adjusted selection criteria in advance of the selection of future aviation personnel. If we assume a career of around 35 active years, it can never be too soon to consider changes in the job profile requirements.

To date, the project has developed and tested a personality questionnaire and a powerful ATM simulation. Outstanding cooperation on the part of German Air Traffic Services (DFS) and Lufthansa, more than 850 applicants took part in the extensive preliminary studies. These tools, the questionnaire and simulation, are currently being combined into the project's main study.


Dipl.-Psych. Solveig Eschen, ,Telefon +49 (0)40-51309665


German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Aerospace Medicine
Department of Aviation and Space Psychology

Sponsored by

Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the Leading-Edge Cluster strategy