Aviate, Navigate, Communicate: Silence, Voice and Situation Awareness in Aviation Safety

ANCAAM2Ph.D. dissertation by Theodoros Katerinakis, 

The purpose of this dissertation is to show how important human communication is in order to accomplish a safe flight. A flight is represented as an act of conversation that combines culture with communication of co-present and cooperative actors, in the highly mediated environment of the flight deck. With the use of a grounded theory approach, real-life scenarios for in-depth interviews with aviation informants were developed and analyzed using discourse analysis and closed reading. Four theoretical contributions were accomplished: (i) the deconstruction of silence phenomenon in multiple dimensions (personal, operational, institutional and regulatory), as part of an interaction; (ii) the synthetic proposition of a voice-categorical label which consolidates paralanguage and hesitation, non-verbal and verbal attributes, in a communication channel applicable in aviation; (iii) the incorporation of situation awareness, with its views of local, transitory and global, as a component in communication models; and (iv) the revisit of mother tongue as a non-conflictual but complementary communication tool which may facilitate linguistic security, instead of competing with the topical standardized English in aviation. Aviate, navigate, communicate is the tri-fold of flight implementation in search of the flying instinct.

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Aviate, Navigate, Communicate: Silence, Voice and Situation Awareness in Aviation Safety

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