Human Factors Hazards in aviation operating environment during COVID -19

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Rosa Maria Arnaldo ValdésVictor Fernando Gómez ComendadorMaria ZamarreñoFrancisco Perez MorenoRaquel Delgado-Aguilera

Abstract: COVID 19 has become a mayor and without precedent disruption in aviation, with a big impact in aviation front line operators, such as crews, air traffic controller and aircraft dispatchers. This new reality has generated unexperienced human factors consequences and ups and downs in the lives of these professionals. They had to deal with new environments in their personal and professional dimensions and changes in both the physical and also psychosocial conditions as a consequence of COVID -19 impacts.The complexity of restating a complex system such as global air transport affects the staff of all aviation supply chain and has the potential to generate new and emergent hazards, a different risk landscape, and new operational and safety challenges.This paper focuses on COVID-related human factors challenges for aviation professionals, how those challenges can generate hazards that jeopardize aviation safety levels, and what can be done to mitigate the derived risks.The paper revises situations faced by operators and service providers during the COVID lockdown and the reanimation of the operations, with a focus on the best practices applied by different organisations to cope with the challenges human factors derived issues while assuring continued high levels of safety as operations ramp up.The paper combines an assessment of the best practices implemented by the industry during the last two years with a classical safety risk assessment approach. The paper revised also the safety risk assessments, about COVID 19 operations-related human factors challenges, conducted by main international aviation organisation such as as the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA), the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Appropriate resources and tools to minimize the mental health impact of COVID-19 and ensure staff well-being throughout the lockdown and recovery phases are discussed.The paper offers a better understanding of the impact that post COVID-19 operations-related challenges could have on aviation human factors; outline new biological and psycho-social hazards and risks situation and their interactions with aviation safety; and finally identify and propose appropriate mitigation measurements for those negative consequences

Keywords: COVID-19, Aviation, best practices, human factors, hazards, risk, mitigations

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1001431

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