Human Factors

Human Factors

Human Factors is a wide and complex domain. Its importance in aviation is indeniable, especially in today’s world. With technology and human-machine interaction more present than ever, it is essential to consider the role of human factors in the present and future operational environments. Special emphasis will need to be directed to the human factors issues that may influence the design, transition and in-service use of the future CNS/ATM systems.

Human Factors also play a significant role in improving safety in aviation, by making States and organisations more aware and responsive to the importance of the role of the human in civil aviation operations in general, through the provision of practical human factors material and measures developed on the basis of experience (ICAO, 2020). IFATCA has been at the forefront of these initatives, as it can be seen by the numerous policies the Federation has developed on the topic over the years.

 

A DEFINITION OF HUMAN FACTORS

According to Doc 9683 (ICAO, 1998), Human Factors has to be clearly defined because these words can easily be misued in common language and are also sometimes applied to any factor related to humans. The human element is the most flexible, adaptable and valuable part of the aviation system, but it is also the most vulnerable to influences which can adversely affect its performance. Throughout the years, some three out of four accidents have resulted from less than optimum human performance. This has commonly been classified as human error.

However, the term “human error” is of no help in accident prevention because although it may indicate WHERE in the system a breakdown occurs, it provides no guidance as to WHY it occurs. An error attributed to humans in the system may have been design-induced or stimulated by inadequate training, badly designed procedures or the poor concept or layout of checklists or manuals. Further, using the term “human error” can have consequences, such as hiding (voluntarily or not) the underlying factors which must be identified, if accidents are to be prevented.

Contemporary safety-thinking argues that there are many possible starting points and angles that can be used to examinate human factors, such as the linear and the systemic approaches to safety. For more information on these two models, please refer to the pages proposed below.

According to ICAO:

“an understanding of the predictable human capabilities and limitations and the application of this understanding are the primary concerns of Human Factors. Human Factors has been progressively developed, refined and institutionalized since the end of the last century, and is now backed by a vast store of knowledge which can be used by those concerned with enhancing the safety of the complex system which is today’s civil aviation.”

 

What falls under Human Factors?

As said previously, the domain of Human Factors is vast. As regards air traffic control, it encompasses inter alia the following aspects:

  • Human Factors management and organization;
  • Human Factors issues in the development and implementation of Communications Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) systems;
  • Ergonomics;
  • Human Factors within systems;
  • Automation in air traffic control;
  • Selection and training of air traffic controllers;
  • The human element  and its specific attributes.

To illustrate the complexity of Human Factors, it can be useful to use a model to facilitate the understanding. An easy and practical model was developed by Edwards in 1972, later on modified by Hawkins in 1975, with a diagram to illustrate the model. The SHEL conceptual model uses blocks to represent the different components of Human Factors. The model can then be built up one block at a time, with a pictorial impression being
given of the need for matching the components (the edges of the blocks are embedded within each other, as seen below). The name SHEL is derived from the initial letters of its components:

  • Software,
  • Hardware,
  • Environment,
  • Liveware.

Where the Liveware refers to the human, the hardware refers to the machine, the software refers to either the procedures, the symbology, etc., and the environment refers to the situation in which the Liveware/ Software/ Hardware system must function. This building block diagram does not cover the interfaces which are outside Human Factors (hardware-hardware; hardware-environment; software-hardware) and is only intended as a basic aid to understanding Human Factors.


For more information, visit one of the following WIKIFATCA pages:

Human Factors 101

  1. AAS 1.13 DETERMINING OPERATIONS READINESS OF NEW ATM SYSTEMS
  2. ADME 2.15 REMOTE AND VIRTUAL TOWER
  3. Ageing Air Traffic Controllers: Consequences on Job Performance
  4. Airport Infrastructure Development
  5. Aptitude Testing for Air Traffic Controllers; Development of Aptitude Tests for ATCOs
  6. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in ATC
  7. ATS 3.44 MOVING TO A NEW FACILITY
  8. Automation and Human Factors
  9. Automation and the ATCO – Human Factors Consideration
  10. CISM Programmes Throughout IFATCA Member Associations
  11. Clarification of Sector Manning Principles
  12. Co-operative Separation
  13. Cognitive Processes in Air Traffic Control
  14. Complexity of Multiple Delay Absorption Programmes
  15. Crisis Management
  16. Critical Incident Stress Management – Update of IFATCA Policy on Stress
  17. Determining And Result Of Inadequate Staffing
  18. Determining Operations Readiness of Automated ATM Systems
  19. Develop Policy on System Defences During Planned System Degradation
  20. Digitising Flight Progress Strip Displays
  21. Display of GNSS Status to ATC
  22. Distractions at Workplace
  23. Dynamic and Flexible ATS Route Systems
  24. Elements of FRMS Model
  25. Evaluating Team Resource Management Implementation within ATC and to Define the Practice for IFATCA
  26. Extra Duty
  27. Fatigue in ATC
  28. Fatigue Management in Air Traffic Control
  29. Fatigue Risk Management Systems
  30. Fatigue Risk Management Systems
  31. Free Flight
  32. Future ATM Systems of the Next Century
  33. HF Considerations when Operating Multiple Operational Positions/Sectors
  34. Human Factor Considerations on “New Working Methods”
  35. Human Factors and Technicalities in a Multi-Sector Planner Environment
  36. Human Factors in Accident and Incident Investigation
  37. Human Factors Integration in New ATM Systems
  38. IFATCA Vision Document – Update Human Factors
  39. Implementation TRM in ATC
  40. Investigate Minimum Safe Altitude Warning Systems (MSAW)
  41. Investigate Potential Applications of ADS-B
  42. Investigate Remote Aerodrome Control Concepts
  43. Investigate Runway Incursions
  44. Investigate the Use and Impact of “Electronic Means Complementing Visual Observation in Tower Control” on the ATCO
  45. Management of Mixed Mode Operations
  46. MED 9.2.10 VIGILANCE DURING OPS SHIFTS
  47. MED 9.2.5 FATIGUE IN AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL
  48. Moving to a New Facility
  49. Night Shift Paralysis in Air Traffic Control
  50. Ocular Disease and Ocular Fatigue Due to the Working Environment in ATC
  51. Performance Indicators in Context
  52. Performance Measurement in ATC
  53. Position Paper on Remotely Operated Towers
  54. Presentation of ADS Data to the Controller
  55. Remote Control Towers
  56. Rescinding Resolution C14 from Costa Rica Conference
  57. Review IFATCA Technical and Professional Manual on Technical Policy Statements related to Mixed Mode Operations
  58. Review Issues Regarding ATC Systems Capability to Monitor Relevant Controller Intervention Buffer (CIB) Parameters
  59. Review of Human Factor Aspects of Social and Labour Aspects, Hours of Work and Retirement and Pension
  60. Review of IFATCA Automation Policy
  61. Review of IFATCA Policy
  62. Review of MED (Medical Matters) – Professional Policy of the TPM
  63. Review of Policy: Single Person Operations in ATC (SPO)
  64. Review of Single Person Operations Policy and Four Eyes Principle
  65. Review of WC (Working Conditions) – Professional Policy of the TPM
  66. Review Policy on CCTV
  67. Review Policy on Mixed Mode Operations
  68. Review Policy on Visual Observation in a Control Tower Environment
  69. Review Policy on Visual Observation, Aerodrome Control Service Concepts and CCTV
  70. Screen Design Process
  71. Sectorless ATM
  72. Single Person Operations – Four Eyes Principle (4EP)
  73. Single Person Operations in ATC
  74. Stress in Air Traffic Control
  75. Study Eurocontrol Human Factors Case
  76. Study Operations in a Paper Stripless Environment
  77. Study Remote Towers Concept
  78. Study Remote/Virtual TWR from the Professional, Procedural and HF View
  79. Study the Virtual Tower Concept
  80. Surveillance Applications Policy – Review Policy on ADS
  81. Team Resource Management
  82. Team Resource Management
  83. Terms of Reference – SC4 Human and Environmental Factors in ATC
  84. The “Free Flight Concept” – Human Factors Considerations
  85. The Ageing Controller
  86. The Fountain of Wellbeing
  87. The Use of Safety Nets in ATM
  88. Transfer of Control Functions to Pilots (Legal Aspects)
  89. Transfer of Separation Functions to Pilots – Human Factors Aspects
  90. Vigilance During OPS Shift
  91. Virtual Centres – Review ATS 3.15 Functional Blocks of Airspace
  92. Vision for the Human in the Future ATM System
  93. WC 8.1.6 SINGLE / LONE PERSON OPERATIONS (SPO)
  94. WC 8.1.7 FOUR EYES PRINCIPLE (4EP)
  95. WC 8.2.10 SHORT TERM CONFLICT ALERT (STCA): HUMAN FACTORS / LEGAL ASPECTS
  96. WC 8.2.11 THE “FREE FLIGHT CONCEPT” HUMAN FACTORS CONSIDERATIONS
  97. WC 8.2.3 WORKING ENVIRONMENTS AND WC 8.2.4 ATC SYSTEMS
  98. WC 8.2.5 AUTOMATION / HUMAN FACTORS
  99. WC 8.2.9 CO-OPERATIVE SEPARATION
  100. WC 8.3.5 EXTRA DUTY
  101. WC 8.7.6 COGNITIVE PROCESSES IN ATC

Last Update: September 19, 2020  

October 27, 2019   679   superman    WIKI  

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