Thomas Kgokolo, Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) Interim CEO, emphasised the importance of improving the understanding Human Factors in aviation safety.
Addressing delegates at the Fourth African Symposium on Human Factors and Aviation Safety (ASHFAS 2019) and the Fourteenth Ergonomics Society of South African Conference (ESSA 2019), joint conference held in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, Kgokolo re-emphasised the organisation’s commitment to continuously seek ways to improve safety in aviation.
“The symposium is one of the many vehicles at our disposal, to assist us in this journey. As a field that grew from the insights of engineering psychologists in the 1940s, Human Factors plays an important role in the current socio-technical environment in addressing the challenges faced by organisations; ATNS will use the astuteness generated in this field,” he said.
The ASHFAS 2019 and ESSA 2019 three-day symposium is hosted by ATNS in partnership ESSA, the University of the Witwatersrand and Rhodes and proudly sponsored by Tsogo Sun and COMAIR. The theme – Bridging the Gap Between Human Factors/Ergonomics Theory and Practice captures the essence of the event.
Kgokolo also commented the symposium plays an important part of by Africa for Africa, which supports and aligns the aviation industry with the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063’s the Africa we want.
“Although we find it challenging to attract the interest and participation from other African universities and aviation industry stakeholders, our aim will remain to modestly seek better ways of managing system safety while being aware of the human limitations.”
“We seek to better understand and enable the human capability that is best suited to deal with performance variability risks within a safety system. As ATNS, we wish to join hands with academics and industry stakeholders as well as safety experts from other industries, to form new alliances and foster better safety partnerships.”
“I believe our common objectives during this symposium and the years to come will be to re-focus on Human Factors in order to improve our safety system’s ability to organise and match the inherent hazards of our organised activities,” he added.
Stanton commented that ergonomics methodologies have moved from focusing on individual tasks to entire systems, the constraints shaping the behaviours and the culture of organisations. Aviation, he said, is probably the most complex socio-technical system, comprising airports, aircraft, airlines, air traffic management and air traffic control (ATC).
The ASHFAS 2019 and ESSA 2019 Symposium ends on 29 August 2019.