Adapting the DARWIN Guidelines for Air Traffic Management (ATM)

In this blog post DARWIN project partner Valentina Cedrini from ENAV discusses how the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines (DRMG) have been adapted for the Air Traffic Management sector.

Two and a half years have passed since the DARWIN Kick-Off-Meeting in Trondheim where, with post-its, notes and cards, the DARWIN team brainstormed project activities.

Several ideas emerged during those five fruitful days. Although, some ideas were only in early stages, many were significant. Above all, one concept was clear in our minds: the DARWIN guidelines need to be useful and easily adoptable for our Community of Practitioners (DCoP).

Many meetings have been organised since, and the first draft of guidelines has been delivered, evaluated and discussed with relevant experts in both air traffic management (ATM) and healthcare domains.

We have discovered more applications of the DARWIN guidelines than first expected. Our ATM experts proposed several possible uses, for example, the guidelines can help to enhance brainstorming and training, and they can provide a reference list of activities to be performed when updating plans or undertaking risk management. Of course, the large amount of information provided in the guidelines needs to be easily accessible and customisable according to the kind of activity to be performed.

The work undertaken to adapt the DARWIN guidelines to ATM has been focused mostly on discussing the usability and appropriateness of the proposed interventions, and identifying and sharing best practices, methods and tools concerning each relevant resilience concept.

Some relevant topics emerged during adaptation, in particular:

  • In the ATM context, the presence of EUROCONTROL plays an important role in the exchange of safety knowledge among different organisations.
  • Just culture and safety culture play an important role in identifying potential sources of frailty.
  • Planning is fundamental; an improvised plan is doomed to fail. Plans must be tested through exercises and training. Only in this way will it be possible to determine clear roles and responsibilities, and identify gaps between work-as-imagined and work-as-done.
  • Collection and dissemination of lessons learnt and incorporation of these lessons into training activities deserve particular attention to improve plans and programmes.

Our work did not stop with the delivery of deliverable report 2.3 (resilience management guidelines adapted to ATM) at the end of October 2017, the guidelines are evolving and enhancing day by day. The collection of feedback is ongoing. Many events are planned for the near future and we will be there ready to gather DCoP’s suggestions for improvement.

To find out more about the DARWIN Community of Practitioners, and how you can join, click here

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