Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Why we must always factor in the human element

Article on Arabia Aerospace website by Ali Al Naqbi on 8 December 2010

Increasing automation on the flight deck is supposed to improve safety – but many pilots are questioning whether, in fact, automation overload is putting aircraft at risk. Research into human factors has thrown up some evidence that cultural differences may not be adequately considered in automation design, training, certification, and operations. If they are not factored in, they may have resulting effects on performance and how automation is used.

At the same time, automation design may not be guided by a philosophy that gives adequate attention to the proper role and function of the human and to human capabilities and limitations. This may compromise system effectiveness and safety.

Pilots from different cultural backgrounds should be involved in the basic design of the avionics functions and of the training systems.

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