10 March 2022

"Having enough competent people who are operationally ready and fit for duty"

No organisation achieves anything without its people. The organisation’s challenge, therefore, is to help its people to perform to their best and fulfil their vital role as the organisation carries out its purpose, whatever that may be. The definition of the people element of our "Safety Map" consists of 3 key parts. 

Having enough people

The first is having enough people, something that many organisations have a challenge with after Covid. There are many factors that impact whether or not you have enough people; some of these factors may, however, be beyond your direct control.

During the Covid pandemic and its aftermath, aviation has been one of the most impacted industries and, in turn, this has impacted the way many people perceive aviation as a career. It is vital that, collectively, we do everything we can to improve the standing of our industry. Every organisation has a role to play in this regard, through establishing and maintaining positive values and a mindset that fit the modern world we live in.

Having competent people

The second part of the "People" part is the word "competent". Competence has a clear link to the purpose of the organisation; people must be competent to perform their role(s) within the organisation. As an organisation, you must know what skills, knowledge and mindset your people need to be effective and what being competent really means. This is easier for people in regulated roles, like pilots, cabin crew, engineers, controllers etc, less so for those in non-regulated roles. It can be a particular challenge for an organisation’s leaders and managers. 

Who are operationally ready and fit for duty

Finally, there is "operationally ready and fit for duty". While we talk a lot about fatigue and flight time limitations, there are many other aspects of people's physical and mental fitness that can impact their performance, and it is important that we understand what this really means. EASA will be doing a lot more on this in the coming months in our Safety Promotion work. 

To enable employees to strive, they have to have the infrastructure and systems in place to be fit for duty. Without people, there is no operation. People are not a cost; they are an asset and should have everything they need to be operationally ready.

The link to the other parts of the Safety Map of the World

When we talk about how the different parts of the map are linked, it is clear that some elements of the “People” part of the map are linked to compliance. For regulated staff there are specific rules to comply with - hence the link to the compliance, but that alone is not enough.  It is important we understand the human factors that help our people to identify and mitigate risks as part of threat and hazard management.