Category Archives: Aviation

‘Aviation Investment’ – a new book by Doramas Jorge-Calderón

Posted by Luigi Fort, Senior Marketing Executive

In the light of the recent interim report on UK airport expansion by the country’s Airports Commission it is worth bearing in mind the issues and, especially, the methodologies involved in assessing the financial and economic viability of such complex projects. Now there is a book precisely on that subject, the only one of its kind. Aviation Investment: Economic Appraisal for Airports, Air Traffic Management, Airlines and Aeronautics by Doramas Jorge-Calderón of the European Investment Bank.

Aviation investmentAviation Investment uniquely addresses investment appraisal methods across the key industries that make up the aviation sector, including the airports, air traffic management, airline and aircraft manufacturing – or aeronautic – industries. It is a practice-oriented book where methods are presented through realistic case studies. The emphasis is on economic appraisal, or cost-benefit analysis, in order to determine the viability of projects not only for private investors but for society as a whole. Financial (cash flow) appraisal is illustrated alongside economic appraisal, as the latter builds on the former, but also to show how economic appraisal enhances standard financial appraisal to determine the long-term sustainability of any investment.

Aviation is a capital-intensive sector that is growing rapidly, with world traffic expected to double over the next 15 years or so. A great deal of economic appraisal of investment projects takes place already, as aviation is subject to government intervention through economic regulation and financial support, and as both investors and policy makers seek to understand issues such as how environmental legislation may impact the viability of investments. Both economic growth and welfare go hand in hand with sound investment decisions, particularly regarding sectors such as aviation where investments are large and almost invariably debt-financed.

Aviation Investment offers all aviation sub-sectors a single-source reference, bringing together the theoretical background of the economic appraisal literature and aviation investment in practice. It is written in a style that is accessible to non-academic professionals, using formulae only where strictly necessary to enable practical applications, and benefits from the substantial practical experience of the author.

About the Author: Doramas Jorge-Calderón is a Senior Economist at the European Investment Bank (EIB), the project financing bank of the European Union, based in Luxembourg. He has been appraising investments for 15 years, many of which in the aviation sector, across Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Prior to his position at the EIB he worked on economic regulation and competition policy with consultants National Economic Research Associates (NERA) in London. He holds a doctorate in transport economics from Leeds University, and has written a number of papers for academic and practitioner publications on investment appraisal, demand analysis and industrial organisation in the aviation sector.

When selecting a pilot – how do we choose the ‘Right Stuff’?

Posted by Luigi Fort, Senior Marketing Executive

How do we choose the ‘Right Stuff’?

From the early years of aviation here are a couple of examples of what to look for when choosing an aviator…

In 1914: “he must possess an unusual amount of dare-devil spirit” (Dockeray and Isaacs 1921).

The US War Department in 1941: “eliminate all the mental and nervous weaklings including temperamental and personality handicapped individuals such as eccentrics, disturbers, irritable, unsocial, peculiar, gossipy, arrogant, and other mental twists types, all unsuited to aviation.

They are taken from ‘A History of Aeromedical Psychology’ (Tatana M. Olsen, Mathew McCauley and Carrie H. Kennedy), the opening chapter of ‘Aeromedical Psychology’, the new Ashgate book edited by Carrie H. Kennedy, University of Virginia, USA and Gary G. Kay, Cognitive Research Corporation, USA.

Aeromedical PsychologyHow has the science and practice of pilot selection progressed since those times?

Kennedy and Gray provide a guide to aeromedical psychology and the training and selection process.

Is it legal to restrain passengers?

Posted by Luigi Fort, Senior Marketing Executive

Anger in the airA recent BBC News report covered an air rage incident and posed the question ‘Who, What, Why: Is it legal to restrain air passengers?’ The report outlined a legal answer to this question.

If you are interested in air rage and the conditions that can cause and prevent it do read Anger in the Air by Joyce A. Hunter.  She looks at the air rage phenomenon in considerable depth.  In particular she considers how personnel policies can impact on air rage and also the importance of customer service.

Ashgate at the Building Fatigue Management into Safety Systems conference

Ashgate are a sponsor and exhibitor at the Building Fatigue Management into Safety Systems conference organised by the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Human Factors and Operations Training Group, 30 October, 2012, Crawley, UK. We are particularly pleased to support the Helen Muir Award which will be presented at the event.

At the conference Captain Daniel Maurino will introduce the SMS concept and its relationship to Human Factors. He is a series editor for Ashgate Studies in Human Factors for Flight Operations.

Aviation psychology and the chain of safety

We are looking forward to the 30th EAAP conference (24-28 September, Sardinia, Italy), where we will be displaying a range of aviation psychology books. Luigi Fort will be manning the Ashgate stand.

One of our recent books in this field is Mechanisms in the Chain of Safety: Research and Operational Experiences in Aviation Psychology, which is edited by Alex de Voogt and Teresa D’Oliveira.

The book had considerable support from EAAP. It presents recent findings in aviation psychology on input, coping and control mechanisms to improve the chain of safety. It examines individual components in the chain while also demonstrating that understanding the interrelation between the various components is essential for future development.

The RoSPA Occupational Safety and Health Journal recently carried this extensive review.

More about Mechanisms in the Chain of Safety: Research and Operational Experiences in Aviation Psychology

The challenge of making aviation profitable

Posted by Luigi Fort, Senior Marketing Executive

Two recent ‘bleak business’ news stories (Ryanair have sharp drop in profits resulting from increase in fuel prices; Air France-KLM reporting major losses owing to redundancy pay-outs) serve to underline the tough challenges confronting many airlines.

There are no silver bullet solutions, but anyone who wants to re-evaluate their business models could do well to look at our booklist for guidance and perspective.

Here are three titles that spring to mind:

Air Transport in the 21st Century

The Passenger Has Gone Digital and Mobile

Why Can’t We Make Money in Aviation?

The second edition of Sidney Dekker’s Just Culture: Balancing Safety and Accountability

Posted by Luigi Fort, Senior Marketing Executive, Aviation and Human Factors

Building on the enormous success of the 2007 original, Dekker revises, enhances and expands his view of just culture for a second edition, additionally tackling the key issue of how justice is created inside of organizations. The goal remains the same: to create an environment where learning and accountability are fairly and constructively balanced.

The First Edition of Sidney Dekker’s Just Culture brought accident accountability and criminalization to a broader audience. It made people question, perhaps for the first time, the nature of personal culpability when organizational accidents occur.

Having raised this awareness the author then discovered that while many organizations saw the fairness and value of creating a just culture they really struggled when it came to developing it: What should they do? How should they and their managers respond to incidents, errors, failures that happen on their watch?

In this Second Edition, Dekker expands his view of just culture, additionally tackling the key issue of how justice is created inside organizations. The new book is structured quite differently.  Chapter One asks, ‘what is the right thing to do?’ – the basic moral question underpinning the issue.  Ensuing chapters demonstrate how determining the ‘right thing’ really depends on one’s viewpoint, and that there is not one ‘true story’ but several. This naturally leads into the key issue of how justice is established inside organizations and the practical efforts needed to sustain it. The following chapters place just culture and criminalization in a societal context. Finally, the author reflects upon why we tend to blame individual people for systemic failures when in fact we bear collective responsibility.

The changes to the text allow the author to explain the core elements of a just culture which he delineated so successfully in the First Edition and to explain how his original ideas have evolved. Dekker also introduces new material on ethics and on caring for the’ second victim’ (the professional at the centre of the incident). Consequently, we have a natural evolution of the author’s ideas. Those familiar with the earlier book and those for whom a just culture is still an aspiration will find much wisdom and practical advice here.


Prologue: A nurse’s error became a crime

  1. What is the right thing to do?
  2. You have nothing to fear if you’ve done nothing wrong
  3. Between culpable and blameless
  4. Are all mistakes equal?
  5. Report, disclose, protect learn
  6. A just culture is your organization
  7. The criminalization of human error
  8. Is criminalization bad for safety?
  9. Without prosecutors there would be no crime
  10. Three questions for your just culture
  11. Why do we blame?


About the author: Sidney Dekker is Professor of Humanities at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. Educated as a psychologist in the Netherlands, he gained his Ph.D. in Cognitive Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University, USA. He has lived and worked in Sweden, England, Singapore, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. The author of several best-selling books on system failure and human error, Sidney has been flying the Boeing 737NG part-time as an airline pilot.

What people are saying about the Second Edition:

‘Thought-provoking, erudite, and analytical, but very readable, Sidney Dekker uses many practical examples from diverse safety-critical domains and provides a framework for managing this issue. A ‘must-read’ for anyone interested in safety improvement, but also, one hopes, for politicians, law-makers and the judiciary.’    Dr Tom Hugh, MDA National Insurance Ltd, Sydney, Australia

‘With surgical precision Sidney Dekker lays bare the core elements of a just culture. He convincingly explains how this desired outcome arises from a combination of accountability and (organisational) learning. The real-life cases in the book serve to drive his arguments home in a way that will be easily recognised and understood by practitioners in safety-critical industries, and hopefully also by rule makers and lawyers.’   Bert Ruitenberg, IFATCA Human Factors Specialist

‘Just Culture is essential reading for airline managers at all levels to both understand the endless conflicts that staff face trying to deliver the almost undeliverable and to reconcile accountability for failure with learning from that failure. A soul searching and compelling read.’    Geoffrey Thomas, Air Transport World

More information about Just Culture: Balancing Safety and Accountability