Beyond situational awareness: a skill set analysis for situational control
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Background: Situational awareness has been conceptually defined as an awareness of past events to contextualise an understanding of what is happening at present and future implications. Lacking or inadequate situation awareness has been identified as one of the primary factors in accidents attributed to human error. While pilots intuitively understand the concept of situational awareness, very little attention has been paid to the actual skill sets which are necessary to develop and maintain this mental model. Furthermore, situational awareness does not guarantee freedom from undesired aircraft states. This is only achieved through situational control, which requires further skill sets which have not been previously identified in this paradigm. Methods: An analysis of the cognitive and social skills required for developing and maintaining four dimensional schemas in a situational awareness context is conducted by reviewing the literature. Using this analysis the transition from mental schema to situational control is then examined from a further skill set perspective. Results: Accurate situational awareness requires at least eight individual skills, which combined, make up a minimum skill set. Once situational awareness is achieved, further key skills are required for situational control. A model of situational control is established. Conclusions: A comprehensive skill set of social and cognitive skills is required to develop awareness of the current situation and likely future developments. Further skills are then required to ensure control of the situation in order to maintain the desired flight path and state. Focused training in these specific skills in future could enhance aviation safety at a personal and team level.
Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium of the Australian Aviation Psychology Association (AAvPA)
Copyright 2012 Australian Aviation Psychology Association. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the conference's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Physical Sciences not elsewhere classified