You may not associate bad communication and risk together. But depending on the context it could be a key player in whether there is an accident or not. The objective of this paper is to identify the risks and possible solutions due to poor communication in the aviation industry. Concentrating mainly on communication within in the cockpit and other related communications (with flight attendants, maintenance crew, ATC).
On March 27, 1977, Two passenger aircraft collided on the runway. KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736. 583 people died because of many reasons, but the main reason was a miscommunication between ATC and the Captain of the KLM flight(Smith, 2017). Tenerife is not the only accident causing people to die because of miscommunication. Miscommunication had contributed to the deaths of more than 2000 people who have been killed in plane crashes since the mid-1970’s(Patty, 2016).
Miscommunication can be in many forms, such as not using the correct terminology, not proficient enough in the english language, not using plain language, and a variety of other things. This paper will help open the eyes of aviation personal to better understand these errors and help correct pilots, ground crew, flight attendants, ATC and other personal to use the correct way to communicate to increase safety.
Safety should be the greatest concern among aviation personal. Not just the safety of the passengers or cargo that are being transported on those aircraft. But the safety of the ground crew, pilots, and others. Having good communication among these people will help create a safer environment for all parties involved.
Even though english is the language of aviation throughout the world, whether you grew up speaking english or not has a big impact on how proficient you are in the english language. You may have an accent depending on what region you grew up or live in. these differences can lead to a misunderstanding between two or more parties.
Plain language is a way of communicating that involves not just what is being said but how it is being said too. Plain language is easy to understand and can be read and instructions can be followed out after reading or hearing it for the first time, no further analysis of the text has to be done. This depends on the person and what is being said. When people talk to other people different types of plain language is being used. the aviation industry has two sides of communication. One side where it is communications with its customers, and one side where it is communication with other people in the organization. When aviation is communicating with its customers, a lot of plain language is used. They have to make sure the passengers know exactly what to do in an emergency situation for example. But when pilots are communication with other pilots or air traffic controllers they use the ICAO phonetic alphabet to prevent any miscommunication or accidents. This may sound like plain language, but unless you know how to speak it, it is impossible to know what is being communicated. For pilots this is plain language, since pilots and air traffic controllers know what language is being used and understands it.
The NATO phonetic alphabet is a commonly used alphabet, which was established in order to create a standardized system of communication across the world, based on codewords that were selected in order to ensure intelligibility.
In an industry like aviation, making sure that all parties understand a set of instructions over the radio can be a difficult task. In 1951, the International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO) recommended that English be universally used for ‘international aeronautical radiotelephony communications.’ upon this notion the ICAO phonetic alphabet was chosen to be used as a way to communicate effectively. Using this phonetic alphabet is helpful when speaking to people with different accents. Using this alphabet is the best way to communicate exact terms such as a set of instructions, a taxiway to use, or a flight level to fly at. If you misunderstood these set of instructions the an accident may occur. This alphabet aids in reducing miscommunication among pilots.
Using the correct terminology in aviation is extremely important. Inside the aviation industry a different way of speaking. This is also known as aviation english (Harper, 2012).