Hazard Identification in Part-145 Approved Maintenance Organisations: The Management of Risk Attitude

Johnny Short, Ivan Sikora

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Risk is an unavoidable part of the aviation industry, and describes both an inherent uncertainty, and an appreciation of the degree to which this uncertainty matters. It is a well-known aphorism that ‘one cannot manage what one cannot measure’, and so the identification of hazards is the first step towards the management of safety risk. Unfortunately, different attitudes and perceptions mean that what appears hostile to some may appear benign to others, and basic human fallibility means that perception and risk attitudes are highly subjective because of “[exposure] to sources of explicit and implicit bias”.
In an effort to sustain airworthiness, Approved Maintenance Organisations (AMO) are one of the most regulated aspects of the aviation industry. This research has shown that a balance of compliance and flexibility is essential to the continued operation of “imperfect systems in an uncertain and dynamic world”, and so aviation is reliant upon the management of risk attitude to provide an enveloping response to uncertainty, and so enhance the subjective
management of safety risk. Through analysis of the safety performance of an EASA registered Part 145 AMO, this project has shown that risk attitudes and perception play an integral role in the identification of safety risk. Whilst the scope and nature of the various risk attitude biases could not be fully quantified, further analysis has shown that safety performance monitoring and measurement is the first step toward this goal, whilst helping to reduce uncertainty and
manage subjectivity across the operational environment.
Recommendations address the mitigation of conscious, subconscious and affective biases, and aim to enhance situational awareness and improve hazard identification. These include the standardisation of the risk assessment process, improved levels of quantitative performance monitoring, and the development of awareness amongst operational personnel of the potential impact of specific situational risk attitude influences.
Ultimately, this research has shown that the greatest asset to any AMO is its constituent staff members, and the promotion of risk attitude and error wisdom has been shown to assist personnel in their understanding and management of their own limitations, whilst adapting their risk attitude to that required by the situation, the context and their skills.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationZIRP 2016
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives on the Croatian 3PL Industry in Acquiring International Cargo Flows
EditorsAnđelko Ščukanec, Darko Babić
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9789532430813
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventZnanost I Razvitak Prometa International Scientific Conference: Perspectives on Croatian 3PL Industry in Acquiring International Cargo Flows - Zagreb, Croatia
Duration: 12 Apr 201612 Apr 2016
http://www.fpz.unizg.hr/zirp-lst/assets/files/conference-proceedings-zirp-lst-2016.pdf (Link to Conference Proceedings )


ConferenceZnanost I Razvitak Prometa International Scientific Conference
Internet address


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