AMT_April-May2021 - 46


Human Factors of
the Pandemic
Eleven months ago, as the COVID pandemic took grip, business and general
aviation, like many industries, had to adapt quickly. As an industry, we are used
to change, and the flexibility that we offer our customers is a huge part of our
industry's value proposition. However, although we may be good at schedule
changes, shift changes, work order changes and more, how do we react to and
deal with changes in human behavior?

By Karen Davies

Karen Davies has been
with ServiceElements
for six years and has
more than 25 years
of diverse aviation
experience, including
scheduling for a Part
91 flight department
and customer service
within a repair and
overhaul facility. She
has served on the
NBAA Schedulers
and Dispatchers
Committee, holds an
Aircraft Dispatcher
License, is a Certified
Aviation Manager
and a Certified Coach
and has a Masters in
Project Management.



The challenges we face today as we punch out of this
pandemic are different to those a year ago. At the start
of COVID, we called on the need for compassionate and
empathetic leadership, over-communication and honesty. As we weathered the pandemic, we as a workforce
and as individuals changed. These changes, whether
psychological, cognitive or physical cannot be ignored
or forgotten. We can't just pick up and continue where
we left off without exploring these human factors and
their impact on our operation's safety and service. To
do so could have detrimental consequences. No matter
what impact the pandemic had on your operation, your
customers, partners and team members have been
impacted in some way and sensitivity and awareness
of these changes and a strategy to mitigate them is
necessary for safety and success.
There are challenges that we need to be aware of
and strategize how to mitigate. Have you updated your
SMS to reflect these?

Organizational Changes and
Workforce Competency
During the pandemic, many companies made deliberate organization changes to limit unnecessary human
interaction, including elimination of shift overlaps,
reduced hours, adding remote working, creation of
employee bubbles and so on. Some organizations
even furloughed or laid off team members. To operate
safely and provide exceptional service to our customers, we each have certain skills and competencies.
Returning to normal capacity and operation is not
necessarily straightforward. We need to pay attention to the possibility that routine tasks could now
be unfamiliar and could degrade safety or service.
For example, if for six or more months a line technician has not towed an aircraft, it would be prudent
to take this cautiously and have at least one dry run.
Trouble shooting and solving mechanical problems

in-particular become tricky when you have been out
of the loop or are unfamiliar with the history of an
on-going issue. To mitigate potential competency
concerns, some operations have flown check flights
every month or so to ensure air and ground crews
remain familiar with routine operations, as well as
checking functionality of all systems. Although, functional check flights and simulations help keep these
routine operations familiar, we must remain alert
and aware that a return to normal operations will
increase time pressure, distractions and workload
for the whole team and increase the vulnerability to
errors and deviations.

Mental Health, Well Being and
Difficult Conversations
Although job competency and cognitive skills are a
concern as we punch out of the pandemic, these can
be taught and re-learned quickly. However, we can't
ignore the fact that people have become very polarized in opinions, beliefs and values during the last 12
Bonding with your team, trust, compassion and
credibility come from time together - water cooler
chats, shared experiences, social interaction and just
getting the job done. With physical distancing and
lack of interaction, this common ground may have
been lost and instead we may become more focused
on our differences.
As we bounce back and operations pick up, the
majority of people in our industry are anxious to get
back to work. However, each person's approach to
returning to " normal " may differ. Some may have a
fearless cowboy attitude, be keen to hug everyone or
may even talk COVID down and call it over-hyped.
On the contrary, others may be very cautious, wanting to keep their distance from team members or may
still be mourning loved ones lost to the illness. Some




Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AMT_April-May2021

Editor's Takeoff
Industry Inspection
State of the Industry: Paint
Time for a Makeover: Inside the Business of Interior Refurbishment
Charged Up Down Under
Innovations in Part Sustainment
A Look Inside the 2OOOJ Series
GAMA Insight
ARSA Insight
Advertiser's Index
AMT_April-May2021 - 1
AMT_April-May2021 - 2
AMT_April-May2021 - 3
AMT_April-May2021 - Editor's Takeoff
AMT_April-May2021 - 5
AMT_April-May2021 - Industry Inspection
AMT_April-May2021 - 7
AMT_April-May2021 - 8
AMT_April-May2021 - 9
AMT_April-May2021 - State of the Industry: Paint
AMT_April-May2021 - 11
AMT_April-May2021 - 12
AMT_April-May2021 - 13
AMT_April-May2021 - 14
AMT_April-May2021 - 15
AMT_April-May2021 - 16
AMT_April-May2021 - 17
AMT_April-May2021 - 18
AMT_April-May2021 - 19
AMT_April-May2021 - 20
AMT_April-May2021 - 21
AMT_April-May2021 - Time for a Makeover: Inside the Business of Interior Refurbishment
AMT_April-May2021 - 23
AMT_April-May2021 - 24
AMT_April-May2021 - 25
AMT_April-May2021 - 26
AMT_April-May2021 - 27
AMT_April-May2021 - Charged Up Down Under
AMT_April-May2021 - 29
AMT_April-May2021 - 30
AMT_April-May2021 - 31
AMT_April-May2021 - 32
AMT_April-May2021 - 33
AMT_April-May2021 - Innovations in Part Sustainment
AMT_April-May2021 - 35
AMT_April-May2021 - 36
AMT_April-May2021 - 37
AMT_April-May2021 - 38
AMT_April-May2021 - 39
AMT_April-May2021 - A Look Inside the 2OOOJ Series
AMT_April-May2021 - 41
AMT_April-May2021 - 42
AMT_April-May2021 - 43
AMT_April-May2021 - 44
AMT_April-May2021 - GAMA Insight
AMT_April-May2021 - Professionalism
AMT_April-May2021 - 47
AMT_April-May2021 - ARSA Insight
AMT_April-May2021 - 49
AMT_April-May2021 - Advertiser's Index
AMT_April-May2021 - 51
AMT_April-May2021 - 52