Silence in the tower: analysing the reasons of air traffic controllers avoiding voluntary reporting

    Ilker Under   Affiliation
    ; Ender Gerede Affiliation


Defined in the organizational behavior literature as employee avoidance of expressing their feelings, thoughts and ideas, the concept of organizational silence refers to the failure to submit reports voluntarily in the context of aviation safety. Due to various factors, aviation employees may avoid reporting. However, managers need voluntary reports from their employees to prevent future accidents. The primary purpose of this study is to find out why air traffic controllers, one of the most critical safety components of flight operation, fail to do voluntary reporting. In addition, whether controllers are involved in real-life voluntary reporting and whether the factors that prevent voluntary reporting vary by demographic variables. The data collected from 212 controllers were subjected to Confirmatory Factor Analysis by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 24 program and the reasons for their failure to do voluntary reporting were identified. Furthermore, the study concluded that approximately 27% of controllers did not submit voluntary reporting on unsafe situations or safety-enhancing recommendations they had seen.

Keyword : aviation, voluntary reporting, safety management system, air traffic control, organizational silence, human factors

How to Cite
Under, I., & Gerede, E. (2021). Silence in the tower: analysing the reasons of air traffic controllers avoiding voluntary reporting. Aviation, 25(3), 129-139.
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Sep 29, 2021
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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