Human factors

Managing Human Factors is a discipline that addresses the development and application of the knowledge of human behaviour and performance.

It focuses on the tasks, equipment and technology used by professionals in their work, as well as the associated rules and procedures, communications, and the physical, social and organisational environment in which they perform their duties.

It also refers to the profession that applies theory, principles, data and design methods to optimise human wellbeing and all system performance.

In line with international standards, ENAIRE is committed to the effective management of human factors through a specialist structure, a team that provides a multidisciplinary approach focusing on the organisation’s most valuable asset: the workforce.

The ENAIRE Human Factors Department (HUFA), which forms part of the Safety, Quality and Environment Division and is of a notably cross-sectional nature, acts as a channel for integrating Human Factors into the organisation’s processes, in coordination with the other ENAIRE units.

From a corporate viewpoint, the integration of Human Factors within an ATM environment serves to increase engagement, optimise professional wellbeing at work, improving communication and planning resources.

It also contributes to improving the entire system, increasing safety margins, reducing costs, and reinforcing efficiency and efficient management, and to improving the business leadership of ENAIRE.

The ENAIRE Human Factors department designs and coordinates the effective implementation of Human Factors at ENAIRE with three main purposes:

  1. Preserving and improving the wellbeing of its professionals through the FSRMS, the Fatigue and Stress Risk Management System.
  2. Analysing and optimising the impact on the human factor of changes in SNA systems and procedures.
  3. Promoting initiatives that strategically position ENAIRE.

2019 saw the start of the Fatigue and Stress Risk Management System (FSRMS).

Through this project, ENAIRE complies with Regulation (EU) 2017/373 and fulfils one of its commitments towards the safety and wellbeing of its air traffic controllers: to collect information on fatigue and stress in order to manage both conditions in the best way possible.

To meet this important goal, reliable fatigue and stress information is needed which, after once analysed with scientific rigour, prevents, analyses and mitigates the risks associated with fatigue and stress in air traffic controllers.

To this end, processes have been defined to provide effective reporting, analysis and information management mechanisms.

More specifically, ENAIRE has designed special procedures and a taxonomy based on scientific sources to rigorously and professionally investigate the risks associated with fatigue and stress. An effective FSRMS is a collaborative process involving all players in the joint actions, for which a fatigue and stress action group (FSAG) has been defined. This group was created for collaboration purposes, and as a technical forum representing the management team and social players.

Just like any other management system, this Fatigue and Stress Risk Management System (FSRMS) is implemented gradually to achieve a high level of maturity through data collection. The information provided by air traffic controllers helps consolidate the FSRMS, the ultimate purpose of which is to suitably manage operational safety risks associated to fatigue and stress.

Likewise, the specific lines of work of the HUFA department include the creation of a fatigue and stress management policy, activities to disseminate information on fatigue and stress, and other actions intended to foster business leadership and efficient change management.

As well as being in line with the general goals of ENAIRE, the development of each project complies with demanding European regulations and has been approved by the National Aviation Safety Agency (AESA). Constant efforts are being made to this end in order to study international regulations and scientific literature in the field of Human Factors.

ENAIRE has been leading the CANSO Human Factors Technical Forum since 2020 with the aim of contributing from the Human Factors field to the safe and efficient provision of air navigation services worldwide.

Since it was established, the Human Factors Department has been conducting its everyday work with transparency, scientific rigour, a critical spirit and, above all, the conviction of strengthening the robust ENAIRE safety system step by step and contributing to the wellbeing of its air traffic controllers.