Aviation is expanding, and this expansion is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. More people want to fly, and aircraft types are increasing in number. Technical innovations and automation introduce changes in the control of aircraft as vehicles and as traffic, and in the numerous human roles and jobs in the air and on the ground that support aviation. The domain of human factors as a discipline is also expanding, independently of aviation. It now embraces more topics and applications than it formerly did, and employs a greater variety of techniques. Aviation human factors is therefore expanding in two distinct ways: the range of applications of human factors within aviation has increased and so the titles of the chapters in this text cover more applications than previous texts did, but the range of topics within each chapter has also increased because the boundaries of human factors as a discipline have been extended to encompass additional themes and approaches. These developments have both led to a net expansion of the subject matter of aviation human factors, because scarcely any applications or topics have been dropped. Currently, aviation human factors is a developing and dynamic force.
The rapid and sometimes revolutionary developments in technology, aviation, and human factors, and the complex interdisciplinary interactions between them, lead to a requirement to review and appraise progress from time to time by taking stock of what has happened and by peering into the future. This text has this objective. It attempts to employ recently developed concepts and explanatory frameworks where they are appropriate. Authors were urged to consider what is known now, and encouraged to develop a point of view. Any disagreements between them have not been edited out, but indicate where there is room for authoritative views to differ, because knowledge is not yet firm or standardized or because divergent practices have evolved. The international perspective sometimes adopted is broadly representative of aviation itself and of its human factors issues.
Aviation has often been among the first contexts to apply new technologies safely and successfully. It has therefore also been among the first to encounter and resolve