Aviation safety issues and actions

Distraction management processes

Issue number: AO-2009-012-SI-04
Who it affects: The operator’s flight crew
Issue owner: Emirates
Transport function: Aviation: Air transport
Background: Investigation Report AO-2009-012
Issue release date: 16 December 2011
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The operator has made a significant number of changes to their training and checking systems to include distraction and distraction management. This included incorporation into the CRM training and simulator sessions.

See report for details of safety action taken.

Safety issue description

The operator’s training and processes in place to enable flight crew to manage distractions during the pre-departure phase did not minimise the effect of distraction during safety critical tasks.

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2009-012-NSA-084
Action organisation: Emirates
Date: 15 December 2011
Action status: Closed

On 6 December 2011, Emirates advised of the following safety action in response to this accident: Every Emirates pilot attended a senior management briefing emphasising the highest standards of professional behaviour, part of which re-emphasised the need for distraction management. The introduction of an Alternative Training Qualification Programme (ATQP) has been a keystone in our continuous improvement programme.

In addition to aircraft handling and management skills, ATQP focuses on: Human Factors, CRM, leadership, situational awareness and decision making processes and includes increased awareness of the threats posed by distraction, plus techniques to eliminate or mitigate, them. and that: Distraction management is integrated into all facets of our pilot training syllabi. It is specifically covered in the CRM induction training for newly joined pilots. Distraction management is also included in simulator training.

Further enhancements have been added to and incorporated into the recurrent three yearly cycle for CRM refresher training. This module was first delivered in the 2010-2011 cycle and is planned to be delivered again in 2013-2014 cycle.

The following extract from the Emirates CRM Training Manual lists the distraction management topics covered in recurrent training:

  • Distraction management
  • Consequences of distractions
  • Typical pre-conditions
  • Recognition of distractions
  • Management of distractions.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action by Emirates adequately addresses the safety issue. All operators are encouraged to review the distraction management elements of their training and checking systems and consider the relevance of the Emirates action to their own operations.

Last update 18 March 2016