Title

Multicultural Cockpit - Threat or Opportunity?

Presenter Email

zajdbana@erau.edu

Location

Mori Hosseini Student Union Events Center (Bldg #610) – Rooms 165 B - F

Start Date

3-2-2020 1:45 PM

End Date

3-2-2020 2:45 PM

Submission Type

Presentation

Topic Area

Advanced flight training; Pilot Supply/ Flight Instructor Supply; Professionalism/Leadership

Other Topic Area

Pilots, International Aviation, Cultural Differences, Challenges, Communication,

Keywords

International Aviation, Cultural Differences, Challenges, Communication

Abstract

In an interview, the former Lufthansa Chief Pilot Jürgen Raps was asked what conditions would have to be met for a ‘dream team’ in the cockpit. Based on his personal experience and citing crash investigations he stated that homogenous cultural backgrounds are a vitally important criterion for safety. But is that so

Homogeneous culture in the globalized world has increasingly become a concept of the past. Globalization has not only affected the way we eat and shop, it has influenced how we communicate and interact with one another - in our neighborhood or across the globe. Interaction with other nationalities has for many become a daily routine. But multicultural interaction has its obstacles as cultural differences lead to misunderstandings, miscommunication and unsuccessful interactions. On the ground this usually does not have life threatening consequences, in the air however it is an entirely different matter.

Massive expansion in the Middle East and in Asia created a pull for pilots into these regions, establishing cockpits staffed with crew members from a wide range of nationalities and backgrounds, and these are increasingly becoming the norm. At the same time competitive pressures in Europe and Asia attempt to reduce salaries and qualifications of pilots as a savings opportunity, creating a skewed market. This has increasingly been a source for concern among pilots and the traveling public fearing (less qualified and cheaper) pilots from other cultural contexts might infringe on the safety record of national airlines.

The proposed paper will detail the significance of a common cultural context among cockpit crews in order to ascertain successful interaction and effective communication- important for daily - but critical in irregular situations. Hiring culturally diverse pilots is increasingly being practiced at many airlines worldwide while heterogeneous company policy is still being maintained at many of the former legacy carriers.

Comments

Presented during Session 4 - Diversity in Aviation

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Mar 2nd, 1:45 PM Mar 2nd, 2:45 PM

Multicultural Cockpit - Threat or Opportunity?

Mori Hosseini Student Union Events Center (Bldg #610) – Rooms 165 B - F

In an interview, the former Lufthansa Chief Pilot Jürgen Raps was asked what conditions would have to be met for a ‘dream team’ in the cockpit. Based on his personal experience and citing crash investigations he stated that homogenous cultural backgrounds are a vitally important criterion for safety. But is that so

Homogeneous culture in the globalized world has increasingly become a concept of the past. Globalization has not only affected the way we eat and shop, it has influenced how we communicate and interact with one another - in our neighborhood or across the globe. Interaction with other nationalities has for many become a daily routine. But multicultural interaction has its obstacles as cultural differences lead to misunderstandings, miscommunication and unsuccessful interactions. On the ground this usually does not have life threatening consequences, in the air however it is an entirely different matter.

Massive expansion in the Middle East and in Asia created a pull for pilots into these regions, establishing cockpits staffed with crew members from a wide range of nationalities and backgrounds, and these are increasingly becoming the norm. At the same time competitive pressures in Europe and Asia attempt to reduce salaries and qualifications of pilots as a savings opportunity, creating a skewed market. This has increasingly been a source for concern among pilots and the traveling public fearing (less qualified and cheaper) pilots from other cultural contexts might infringe on the safety record of national airlines.

The proposed paper will detail the significance of a common cultural context among cockpit crews in order to ascertain successful interaction and effective communication- important for daily - but critical in irregular situations. Hiring culturally diverse pilots is increasingly being practiced at many airlines worldwide while heterogeneous company policy is still being maintained at many of the former legacy carriers.