What is Crew Resource Management (CRM)? - AeroGuard

What is Crew Resource Management (CRM)?

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Crew resource management, or cockpit resource management, involves the effective utilization of certain training procedures and resources for flight crews, cabin crews, air traffic control, maintenance and dispatch in order to ensure efficient flight operation. Let’s learn more about crew resource management and its importance in the aviation world.

Brief History of Crew Resource Management

In the 1970s, a team of NASA researchers began evaluating the performance of airline pilots, discovering that over 70 percent of airline accidents were caused by human error. With the goal of reducing human-caused errors in the cockpit, in 1979, the term, “cockpit resource management”, was created by John Lauber, a research psychologist working for the organization. Lauber developed the idea that crewmembers needed to take a more team-oriented approach to flying.

Over time, CRM has evolved and is now a global standard for the aviation industry.

Crew Resource Management Goals

The primary purpose of CRM is to use all resources, including humans, information and hardware, to mitigate errors and improve safety. According to the FAA, “CRM training focuses on situation awareness, communication skills, teamwork, task allocation and decision-making within a comprehensive framework of standard operating procedures (SOP).” We’ll dive into each of these.

  • Situation awareness

    Situation awareness involves having knowledge of your surroundings at all times. Planning, prioritization and stress reduction are all part of situation awareness.
  • Communication skills

    There is constant communication occurring between all personnel and air traffic control. Crewmembers must have excellent communication skills for this reason.
  • Teamwork

    Teamwork is very important in aviation. You’re required to collaborate with your crew in order to get all individuals aboard the plane to their destination safely.
  • Task allocation

    Task allocation involves dividing up responsibilities among teammates in order to accomplish goals effectively.
  • Decision-making

    In the aviation industry, decision-making is an essential skill to possess. Crewmembers need to be able to confidently act in all situations, keeping safety as a priority.

Each of these training focuses help create team performance and improve the way we fly.

Putting Crew Resource Management into Practice

Many industries outside of aviation that focus on team performance take advantage of crew resource management due to its safety benefits.

When crew members utilize the resources available to them, it improves the way they fly and helps them to avoid making mistakes. The next time you’re traveling on an airplane, remember that your flight crew is not only prioritizing your well-being, but is doing everything they can to ensure your experience is positive.