- Peter J. Bruce, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
Previous studies conducted within the aviation industry have examined a multitude of crucial aspects such as policy, airline service quality, and revenue management. An extensive body of literature has also recognised the importance of decision-making in aviation, with the focus predominantly on pilots and air traffic controllers. Understanding Decision-Making Processes in Airline Operations Control focuses instead on an area largely overlooked: an airline's Operations Control Centre (OCC). This serves as the nerve centre of the airline and is responsible for decision-making with respect to operational control of an airline's daily schedules. The environment within an OCC is extremely intense and a key role of controllers is to make decisions that facilitate the airline's recovery from frequent, highly complex, and often multiple disruptions. As such, decision-making in this domain is critical to minimise the operational, commercial and financial impact resulting from disruptions.
The book examines many aspects of individual decision-making in airline operations, and addresses the deficiencies found by presenting to the reader an examination of the relationships among situation awareness, information completeness, experience, expertise, decision considerations and decision alternatives in OCCs. The text utilises a multiple case study approach and proposes a number of relevant and important implications for OCC management. Practical outcomes highlight the need for enhancing training programs enabling existing controllers to readily identify and classify elements of situation awareness and decision considerations as a means of improving the decision-making process. They also draw attention to the need for airline OCCs to understand the extent to which industry experience and expertise of controllers is important in the selection of future staff.
Contents: Preface; Part I Background and Underlying Theory: Introduction; Decision-making; Decision-making styles; Situation awareness; Expertise. Part II Examining Decision-Making Processes of OCC Controllers: Designing the study; The international simulations; The domestic simulations; Conclusions and implications for OCCs; References; Appendices; Index.
About the Author: Peter J. Bruce's employment in the aviation industry included more 16 years as an operations controller for TAA/Australian Airlines. Now a Senior Lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, he is the Program Coordinator for the Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master of Aviation in both Human Factors and Management programs and is responsible for the university's annual Aviation Industry Seminar series. He also teaches undergraduate units, primarily with regard to the business management and operational aspects of the industry, and leads a global Aviation Study Tour every two years, visiting key aviation organisations. Peter's areas of expertise and PhD focussed on airline operational decision-making, decision-making styles, situation awareness, and expertise. He has presented his work to industry and at a number of international conferences.
Reviews: 'An excellent study which underlines the complexity of airline operations and, most importantly, the potential effectiveness of airline operational control centres (OCC) which have to respond to singular or multiple disruptions. These can vary enormously and challenge some of the best prepared and trained OCC teams. Understanding airline policies, developing plans and checklists, training, integrating information systems for situational awareness and effective two-way communications are essential for a successful outcome.'
Chris Peet, VP Network Control & Logistics (retired) Emirates Airline
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