Optimising human performance in ATM
Jörg Leonhardt, Co-Chair of the CANSO Human Performance Management Task Force explains how new CANSO best practice can help to optimise human performance.
At a time when the entire aviation industry is subject to major changes, it is becoming increasingly important to consider the components of the overall system and align them to these changes. A strong focus and much discussion is currently placed on technology, automation and digitisation. That is one – important – component of the aviation system, but the other, the human operator, is vital too.
It is true that aviation in general and air traffic control in particular has always been characterised by a successful interaction between the operator and technology. If the guiding principle that people create safety continues and is understood to be the basis for the excellent safety performance in the aviation industry, the interaction between operator and technology must be the focus of our efforts more than ever before.
To help air navigation service providers (ANSPs) focus on this important area, CANSO has published the CANSO Standard of Excellence in Human Performance Management. The Standard is based on input and validation from 16 CANSO Member ANSPs and EUROCONTROL, steered by three CANSO Workgroup Co-chairs from NAV CANADA, NATS and DFS.
In most ANSPs there are activities related to human performance management, for example, training, teamwork or selection. However, it is often the case that human performance activities are carried out in different departments and the individual elements not connected. The new Standard helps enormously, since it not only measures the performance of individual components but also establishes a framework for the integration of these elements.
For me as head of the Human Factors department, this is a great help in determining the effectiveness of my human performance efforts and the coordination of the elements involved, but it also helps to identify the areas in which we can improve.
CANSO is showing its foresight in focussing on human performance management right now. Increasing automation, new airspace users and the changes in business caused by costs and production pressures all have enormous implications for the future of air traffic control. For example, the working methods of air traffic controllers will change, which will affect the selection and training of future controllers. Automation is also evolving and will no longer be just an information provider but will interact more closely with the operator.
How to make automation a team player and how to maintain the high safety status will be the questions of the near future, and the industry needs to be prepared, and its human resource carefully nurtured and developed in order to maintain efficient and effective service provision. To find out more about how to do this, and the steps ANSPs need to take, please read the new CANSO Standard.
If you are interested in the finding out more about human performance in ATM and the related CANSO initiatives, please get in touch.