Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


Some collegiate aviation programs in the United States have adopted the voluntary Safety Management System (SMS) strongly advocated by the Federal Aviation Administration to build a proactive safety culture. While relevant safety culture research has primarily focused on flight personnel, there has been limited investigation on non-flight collegiate aviation majors (collegiate air traffic control, aviation management, and unmanned aerial systems students) perceptions on collegiate aviation safety. This study examined the relationship between safety culture perceptions and safety reporting behavior of non-flight major students at five collegiate aviation programs. One hundred and sixteen completed responses to a validated safety culture perception survey instrument were used for analysis (n = 116). The findings suggest an unfavorable perception on the Response and Feed-back scale and may indicate challenges with effective feedback from safety professionals for reports on safety issues made by respondents. The strong correlation between the perceptions of respondents on the reporting system and response and feed-back amplifies a need for greater diligence in providing feed-back to safety issues reported in collegiate aviation programs. A causal path analysis with mediating variables suggests the need for collegiate aviation management to provide resources that align safety performance indicators with safety objectives. The researchers recommend effective safety promotional programs that will improve the safety culture perceptions of non-flight aviation students.