Safety climate of commercial pilots: The effect of pilot ranks and employment experiences

Yi Gao, Peter J. Bruce, David G. Newman, Chrystal B. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study designed and conducted a survey to examine the safety climate of the flight crew of an Asia-Pacific airline. The survey instrument collected responses of flight crew to a list of statements deemed relevant to their safety climate. Exploratory factor analysis identified and confirmed four safety related themes covering 15 survey items, which were named Safety Feedback, Confidence in Safety Reporting System, Company Safety Philosophy, and Safety Promotion & Communication. The survey results showed that a majority of participants responded positively to statements captured by these four themes, indicating a generally healthy safety climate within the airline. Statistical analyses also revealed that pilots of lower ranks and shorter employment experience with the company generally were more positive about the safety climate than senior pilots. Comments provided by flight crew confirmed findings of quantitative analysis, and also identified key areas to improve the overall safety culture of the company.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Air Transport Management
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Airline
  • Flight crew
  • Pilot
  • Safety climate
  • Safety culture

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