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The University of Southampton

Research project: ALICIA: All Condition Operations and Innovative Cockpit Infrastructure

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Has your flight ever been delayed due to poor weather? It has been estimated that 16,800 airline flights were cancelled in 2007 in Europe due to low visibility conditions, and in some major airports almost 50% of arrival delays are due to low cloud and poor visibility. This project aims to develop technologies that will reduce delays and cancellations due to weather conditions.


In his ALICIA project funded by the EU, Professor Neville Stanton and his team are working with 41 European partners to develop the aircraft technology and tasks necessary to reduce delays in Europe associated with poor weather by at least 20%. Examples of technological innovations include the use of head-up displays that will allow pilots to see through fog and low clouds so that they can land aircraft as normal. It is recognized that these problems cannot be solved by technological innovation alone – those innovations have to be used by people and designed for the way they think. It is anticipated that this project will provide very significant economic advantages to airlines as well as welcome benefits to the European traveller.

ALICIA systems
ALICIA systems

ALICIA aims to make advances in the design of next generation cockpits using an approach that embraces the principles of increased standardisation and commonality across multiple aircraft types. This will contribute to an increase in re-use of European technology creating further competitive advantage whilst reducing time to market. Some of the key innovations pursued within ALICIA include:

  • Robust management of flight phases near and on the ground
  • Enhanced vision system and synthetic imagery
  • Holistic approach to HMI design and integration
  • Integration with the future airspace infrastructure
  • Novel display, control and audio concepts, e.g. head mounted displays, direct voice input, audio environment including 3D audio, large area/high resolution displays.

The utility and scalability of the new concepts will be demonstrated using simulations/synthetic environments and bench testing to support concept

validation and product certification and to illustrate the feasibility of highly integrated on board functions performing strategic surveillance of the aircraft environment, enhanced navigation, operations in Low visibility in the critical phases of the flight near and on the ground is one of the most disruptive factors in European aviation today.


Stanton, N. A., Harvey, C., Plant, K. L. and Bolton, L. (2013) To Twist, Roll, Stroke or Poke? A Study of Input Devices for Menu Navigation in the Cockpit. Ergonomics, 56 (4), 590-611.

Stanton, N.A. & Plant, K.L. 2010. Constraints Analysis in the Rotary Wing cockpit. A pilot study using Cognitive Work Analysis. In Proceedings of the International Human Computer Interaction in Aerospace Conference 2010. 3-5th November 2010, Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Stanton, N.A. & Plant, K.L 2011. Using constraints analysis for future cockpit design. In Proceedings of the International Conference of the European Aerospace Societies. 24-28th October 2011, Venice, Italy, p. 1696-1704.

Associated research themes


Related research groups

Transportation Group
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