Frequency and Variance of Communication Characteristics in Aviation Safety Events

Nektarios Karanikas, Steffen Kaspers

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In the aviation sector, communication problems have contributed into 70% to 80% of safety occurrences. However, to date we haven’t depicted which communication aspects have affected aviation safety most frequently.
Based on literature, we developed a tool which includes communication characteristics related to actors, signal, coder, channel, decoder, direction, timing, distance, predictability and interference. After achieving inter-rater reliability, the tool was used to analyse 103 safety investigation reports that correspond to events occurred in various regions and which included in total 256 communication problems. The results suggest that communication between humans and representation media, visual and audio signalling and decoding, air-transmitted messages, and verbal, unidirectional, local and synchronous communication contributed most frequently into safety events. Statistical tests showed that the frequencies of most of those characteristics were significantly different across regions, time periods, types of operations and event severity.
The tool developed can be used by different organizations and industry sectors to distil and analyse data from mandatory and voluntary reports and identify weak communication areas. Depending on the findings, analysts might need to alert designers of technical systems, inform management of organizations, warn end-users about most frequent pitfalls, modify/enrich communication training and steer research efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2017
EventHFES Europe Charter Conference 2017 - Acquario Romano, Rome, Italy
Duration: 28 Sept 201730 Sept 2017


ConferenceHFES Europe Charter Conference 2017


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