Advancing UK Aerospace, Defence, Security & Space Solutions Worldwide
  • Home
  • /
  • Aerospace
  • /
  • RAeS highlights mental health challenge to civil aviation safety

Aerospace

RAeS highlights mental health challenge to civil aviation safety

The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) has published a paper on the mental health challenge to civil aviation safety, covering both psychosocial risk management and mental health.

Image courtesy RAeS    

The paper explores the impact that mental health in aviation currently has within civil aviation.

The Royal Aeronautical Society’s Human Factors Wellbeing Working Group (HFW WG) paper highlights key areas of the civil aviation ‘eco-system’ that would be positively impacted by a coherent approach to managing and mitigating staff mental health and wellbeing.

Advertisement
Cranfield

Poor mental health is now an acknowledged safety risk factor in civil aviation, from Germanwings in 2015 through to Alaska Airlines in 2023, the issue in the mental wellbeing of safety-critical staff has become an issue for the industry. One key question relating to this challenge is to what extent can the risk be monitored and quantified by means of the psychological assessment of safety-critical staff to inform safety management strategies.

The view of the HFW WG is that an approach based on the information outlined in this paper could provide a positive ’tailwind’ for the industry addressing the challenges in the current environment.

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the development of a response to the emerging recognition of the safety risk posed by the mental health and wellbeing of all civil aviation personnel. In addition, the paper provides recommendations and psychosocial risk management systems that can be implemented into current organisational structures to prevent the degradation of staff mental health and wellbeing.

Marc Atheron MRAeS Chair of Human Factors Wellbeing Working Group said: “Events since 2015 have highlighted that the mental health and wellbeing of civil aviation staff is a growing issue in maintaining the impressive safety record and operational performance of the sector. The RAeS Mental Health and Wellbeing Working Group have been addressing the area since 2016, and we have produced a report which looks at the topic from the perspective of a developing a strategic approach to monitoring, managing, and mitigating the risks posed to both operations and individuals.

The report includes evidence of the prevalence of mental health issues in safety critical groups, and an approach based on adapting existing and evolving policy and regulation around psychosocial risks in the workplace to the sector as a way forward.

Advertisement
ODU RT

My personal hope is that this report contributes to the development of a positive culture of change that recognises and enhances the role played by, and the value of, the multitude of individuals who make the global sector the success it is.”

Gerard Forlin KC ARAeS said:“It is a great honour to be involved in this very important paper with Marc and the other expert contributors. I have been involved globally in aviation and mental health as a lawyer for over ten years in over 80 countries, and have seen this concern becoming increasingly more urgent. It needs to be sorted immediately.

This paper hopefully provides a more holistic approach to remedy this growing crisis rather than just attempting to put a plaster on an already concerning the situation. I thank the RAeS, Marc Atherton, the other contributors and everyone else I have met globally working on this topic.”

RAeS Chief Executive David Edwards FRAeS said: “The civil aviation industry is shifting more focus onto the important topic of mental health, highlighted by the Germanwings and Alaska Airlines incidents. Whilst the industry is doing more to support staff who are already facing mental health issues, there remains a lack of psychosocial risk management systems to prevent the development of mental health issues in the first place.

"This Royal Aeronautical Society paper highlights several recommendations and systems that organisations can implement to help address this; we believe that this study will highlight the impact mental health has on the civil aviation industry and, with further support and willingness from organisations, allow it to become an important contributor in mental health psychosocial risk management.”   

Advertisement
TT Electronics LB TT Electronics LB
Thompson showcasing seating advances at AIX

Aerospace Events

Thompson showcasing seating advances at AIX

20 May 2024

Thompson Aero Seating is bringing a mix of inspiration and innovation to AIX 2024 as it continues to invest in its evolving premium seating range.

The Exact Group expands its capabilities

Aerospace Events

The Exact Group expands its capabilities

20 May 2024

Newry-based precision engineering and specialised finishing company, The Exact Group, has invested over £300k to expand its capabilities in the aerospace sector, including becoming a certified applicator of ceramic coating, Cerakote.

Saudia Group orders 105 A320neo Family aircraft

Aerospace

Saudia Group orders 105 A320neo Family aircraft

20 May 2024

Saudia Group, represented by Saudia and the group’s low-cost carrier flyadeal, has signed a firm order for an additional 105 A320neo Family aircraft.

London City Airport appoints Alison FitzGerald as CEO

Aerospace

London City Airport appoints Alison FitzGerald as CEO

17 May 2024

London City Airport confirmed yesterday that Alison FitzGerald has been appointed as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Advertisement
ODU RT
EasyJet to open 10th UK base at London Southend Airport

Aerospace

EasyJet to open 10th UK base at London Southend Airport

17 May 2024

EasyJet has announced it will be expanding its UK network by opening a three-aircraft base at London Southend Airport next March.

Bristol Airport reaches 10m passengers

Aerospace

Bristol Airport reaches 10m passengers

17 May 2024

Bristol Airport has welcomed 10 million passengers (in a consecutive 12-month period) travelling through the terminal for the first time in its history.

Advertisement
Marshall RT