Edward P. Warner said, “The modern airplane is the product of a program of research, development and refinement in detail that no other structure or mechanism has ever matched.
The results have been so remarkable that there is always danger of forgetting that these extraordinary craft still have to be operated by men, and that the most important test they have to meet is still that of being operable without imposing unreasonable demands or unnecessary strains on the flight personnel (quoted in Billings, 1997).”
It is imperative to mention the significance of human and machine interactions when dealing with an aviation system. An organizational structure determines how a system performs as it involves the mindset, the values and the goals of a group. The humans are the ones that control and use the machines and they are the ones who belong and participate in a specific organizational culture.
Even if the aviation system is considered one of the most “technology-intensive, spatially distributed system,” the force that operates and manages the functions of the system still depend upon the human labor force (Billings 1997, p. 3). This system operates to move passengers and cargo from one location to another with the use of highly complex and automated machines.
Technology has never been utilized and maximized more effectively in any other industry than the aviation enterprise and it remains to be an industry to promote the advance of such technology for better safety and higher comforts for the passengers (Billings 1997, p. 3).
Automation of the airline industry revealed subtle yet existing assumptions that machines would soon replace humans in the workplace (Billings 1997, p. 201). A better perspective would be that humans and machines are complementary rather that competitive of each other (Billings 1997, p. 201).
The rising dependence for machine was seen to be a major factor that shapes the culture of the aviation industry. As machines could do more of what a pilot and air traffic control officer does, sometimes at a higher rate of efficiency, air carriers have moved to use automations more than ever.
However, there were questions as to the degree of control humans have over the operation (Billings 1997, p. 206). It is important to note that at present machines cannot completely replace humans in their functions as checklists required before and during the flight cannot be solely accomplished by some machine (Billings 1997, p. 207).
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