Increasing Human Performance


The Human Performance Management Workgroup (HPM WG), part of CANSO’s Safety Programme, has been hard at work in 2022 getting back to the business of enhancing, promoting, and supporting human performance and human factors work around the world.

This has been a challenging year for many of us involved in the safe management of Human Performance in Aviation. With air traffic bouncing back in many parts of the world much faster than predicted, some operations sprung back into life while others continue to deal with the ongoing effects of the global pandemic. Our Human Performance Work Group has been in the centre of it with many of our members juggling the balance between direct operational support and solving future priorities and visions.

At the heart of our HPM WG is the goal to develop strategies and guidance for all our members to address current challenges and prepare for future challenges. This year, we have successfully grown, with nine new members taking us to a total of 36 experts from 19 countries. We have never had such a diverse and broad range of skills in our team.

Our work group members represent every continent stretching from Canada to Australia and South Africa to Singapore. Our experts bring a range of human performance skills such as clinical psychology, cognitive and work psychology, human factors expertise, safety engineering and safety management specialisations. Together we hope to foster enhanced awareness of the relevance of human performance and above all, make ourselves available to those who need assistance.

As this blog post comes out, we are finalising a new report on our ‘state of global human performance survey’ which we conducted earlier this year. This survey asked 42 ANSPs how human performance and human factors are managed. Through this analysis we were able to see the baselines and best practices from around the world. We aim to use this to guide our activities in the years ahead, but it is worth looking out for in the new year because it can also be used as great real-time guidance on where your organisation is standing.

Earlier this year we also launched a new initiative for human performance known as ‘Empowerment, Engagement and Expertise’ or the ‘Triple E.’ Through this initiative we hope to make our expertise and guidance available for all CANSO members. The initiative is proving popular, with varying safety and human performance departments contacting us for advice and an overview of how things are done. We have held calls and presented at conferences for seven ANSPs in 2022 from Asia to South America.

If you or your organisation would like advice on anything concerning human factors or human performance, including guidance on hot topics such as Fatigue Risk Management or Human Error reduction, or even big-data analysis of human performance and dashboarding, do not hesitate to get in touch. Engagement can include a virtual meeting with a member of the workgroup’s chair team, or presentations to your wider safety and operational departments, as well as other options.

Our Triple E initiative is just the beginning! In 2023 and 2024 we hope to improve our outreach with some scheduled webinars and a symposium bringing together various human performance and human factors groups from around the world to focus research and problem solving. We are working on three new publications for CANSO including a strategic guidelines and best practices document for ANSPs to use to craft their own solutions and strategy. We are also developing new research into operator competencies and an update to our Human Performance Standards of Excellence which will help ANSPs use the tools more effectively.

Finally, recently the Safety Steering Group and the workgroup chairs met in Vienna, Austria, for a face-to-face meeting. It was a wonderful opportunity to share notes and exchange ideas on the overlap between different groups. Human Performance informs Safety Intelligence which, in turn, contributes to future safety management systems. We are all excited in the safety area to be focused on new visions as well as continuing to assist all members in improving and enhancing. We are also looking forward to closer cooperation with the Operational groups in the next year.

About the Author

Lea-Sophie Vink

Leads Human Performance at Austro Control GmbH in Vienna, Austria. She is a cognitive psychologist and human factors specialist with a passion for balancing human performance needs against sustainable well-being.

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