Aircrew Security Training: increasing engagement increases understanding

Providing effective aviation security training to aircrew, be it initial or annual recurrent in nature, can be a challenge. ‘Security’ just seems to be one of those words that carries negative connotations and it can all too easily make people to want to switch off. But it shouldn’t be challenging; we have a captive audience who ought to recognise the risk and danger posed to airline operations by security issues. They know all too well what can happen when things go wrong and, generally, they actually want to carry out their security duties to the best of their ability. Let’s face it, they want to help make sure that bad things don’t happen because the aircraft is their workplace, and everyone wants to go home to their family at the end of their shift. Andrew McGowan explains how Thomson Airways obtains ‘buy-in’ from its crewmembers.

I’m not actually convinced that it’s the subject of security in itself that makes people want to switch off. I find that whenever I get to talk to our own crews in informal situations, the subject of security is always discussed at great length and with great interest and verve. Our staff are genuinely interested to hear about what’s been going on around the airline business and what impact it has on our operations. So, if the interest is there, why is there a challenge when it comes to security training?

Well, I think there are a couple of reasons.

First of all I think we push way too much written detail at aircrew in an all too crammed a half-day session. They do, after all, have access to their security procedures via their relevant company manuals during normal duties, and they really don’t have to be regulatory experts. So, do they need to have EU regulations fired at them in detail during training? Probably not. Everywhere else in aviation, you understand and apply concepts and procedures learned in training, and you only consult the manual when you need to.

Secondly, I think we’ve probably provided a very staid learning experience in the past.

 

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