Analysis of the Differences in Perceptions of Safety reporting Systems between Collegiate Aviation Students and Airline Pilots

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Donald Lyle
Daniel Siao


Collegiate education and training prepare students to enter the workforce, and the collegiate experience should reflect practices in use within an industry.  Collegiate aviation combines academic and practical experience with the integration of an industry-standard safety emphasis from the beginning of training.  One facet of this safety emphasis, safety reporting, is an integral part of safety management systems (SMS) used in professional aviation.  This study examined the differences in the perceptions of safety reporting systems between the pilots of a U.S. major air carrier and the collegiate students enrolled in the aviation program at a U.S. university.  A cross-sectional survey was used to collect data from these two groups.  Statistical analysis found that collegiate aviation students and airline pilots witnessed a similar number of safety-related issues during the study period. Airline pilots submitted safety reports with greater frequency than did students.  Collegiate aviation students in this study indicated that report confidentiality concerns were a factor in this lower reporting rate.  The study also found that the perceived effectiveness of organizational safety policies and procedures is influenced by, and inversely proportional to, the number of safety-related issues witnessed by study participants.

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