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Improving aviation safety through human factors


Pilots discussing technical issues on board an aircraft

Pilots discussing technical issues on board an aircraft

Globally, human error has been accepted as a primary contributor to more than 70 percent of commercial airplane accidents.

While typically associated with flight operations, human error has also recently become a major concern in maintenance practices and air traffic management, according to reports.

The term “human factors” has grown increasingly popular as the commercial aviation industry has realized that human error, rather than mechanical failure, underlies most aviation accidents and incidents.

And if interpreted carefully, human factors are often considered synonymous with crew resource management (CRM) or maintenance resource management (MRM).

However, for Nigeria aviation industry, being safe in air travel is the right direction, and it is the law, too, as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), that regulates the airlines, has focused on safety as its mission, while the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has also assured to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the country.

Human factors, therefore, involved gathering information about human abilities, limitations, and other characteristics and applying it to tools, machines, systems, tasks, jobs, and environments to produce safe, comfortable, and effective human use.

In aviation, human factors are committed to better understanding how humans can most safely and efficiently be integrated with the technology. That understanding is then translated into design, training, policies, or procedures to help humans perform better.

Despite rapid gains in knowledge, humans are ultimately responsible for ensuring the success and safety of the aviation industry. They must continue to be knowledgeable, flexible, dedicated, and efficient while exercising good judgment on their jobs.

Meanwhile, the industry has continued to make major investments in training, equipment, and systems that have long-term implications, as technology has continued to evolve faster than the ability to predict how humans will interact with it.
Aside that, the industry may no longer depend as much on experience and intuition to guide decisions related to human performance.

Instead, a sound scientific basis is necessary for assessing human performance implications in design, training, and procedures, just as developing a new wing requires sound aerodynamic engineering.

Also, Boeing, plane maker has addressed this issue by employing human factors specialists, many of whom are also pilots or mechanics that focused on flight deck design.

This group of about 30 experts now considers a much broader range of elements, such as cognitive psychology, human performance, physiology, visual perception, ergonomics, and human-computer interface design.

Applied collectively, their knowledge contributes to the design of Boeing airplanes and support products that help humans perform to the best of their capability while compensating for their natural limitations.

1 Comment
  • Adefila Johnson Gbenga



    Dear Editor,

    I write to suggest the above man as a minister. He is
    intelligent humble and incorruptible. He has worked in the aviation Industry
    for 42 years. A technocrat per excellence, he was unjustly fired by outgoing
    president Goodluck Jonathan after the bullet proof car scam of Mrs Stella Oduah
    broke out. He barely spent 8 months out of his 5 year term confirmed by the
    senate. He has faced senate and house of Reps and was cleared because he hasn’t
    assumed office when the contract was carried out. He will handle the aviation
    Industry professionally


    Director General

    Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority

    August 2013 – March 2014 (8 months)Lagos, Nigeria


    International Aviation College Ilorin Nigeria

    January 2012 – June 2013 (1 year 6 months)Lagos Road, besides Ilorin
    International Airport

    Accountable Manager

    Director International Operations

    Air Nigeria

    2010 – October 2011 (1 year)

    Director of Flight Operations

    Virgin Nigeria Airways

    February 2010 – January 2011 (1 year)Murtala International Airport, Lagos

    Line Captain; Technical Pilot; Training Captain; Training Manager; Type Training
    Examiner B737-300/

    Virgin Nigeria Airlines

    June 2006 – January 2010 (3 years 8 months)Lagos, Nigeria

    Contract Pilot; Training Captain

    ADC Airlines

    April 2004 – April 2006 (2 years 1 month)Lagos, Nigeria

    Managing Director/Chief Operation Officer

    IRS Airlines

    2001 – 2002 (1 year)

    Chief Pilot ; Director Technical Operations

    ADC Airlines

    February 1991 – 2001 (10 years)Lagos, Nigeria


    Kabo Air

    1986 – 1991 (5 years)

    • +Flights

    • +Aviation

    • +Commercial Aviation

    • +Aircraft

    • +Flight Safety

    • +Airports

    • Civil Aviation

    • Flight Planning

    • Flight Training

    • Piloting

    Captain Fola also knows about…

    • Aircraft Maintenance

    • Management

    • Operations Management

    • Strategic Planning

    • Airport Management

    • Airworthiness

    • Aviation Security

    • Ground Instructor

    • IATA

    • Project Planning

    • Management Consulting

    • Aerospace

    • Executive Management

    • Change Management

    • Crew Resource Management

    • Charter

    • Airline Management

    • B737

    • Aviation Industry

    • Aircraft Leasing

    • Recruitment Training

    • Line Maintenance

    • Aircraft Systems

    • Flight Operations

    • Ticketing

    • Business Aviation

    • International Flight…

    • Human Factors

    • Avionics

    • EASA

    • Type Rating

    • Team Building

    • General Aviation

    • Sabre

    • Multi-engine

    • Consultancy

    • Instructing

    • Ground Handling

    • ICAO

    • A320

    Education: He attended NCAT Zaria and Masters at the United States

    He is capable of handling the Nigerian Aviation Industry.By Adefila
    Gbenga 08062093269, e-mail