Basic Theory

The basic theory of SA is that of cognitive psychology, in particular, attention, perception, information processing, memory and decision making. Much of this has already been addressed in the Module 1 dealing with information processing.

Whilst the term “situation awareness” is usually used, in the context of flight operations, to describe awareness of all aspects of the whole flight, this can be broken down into specific elements, of which flight crew need to be aware to varying extents at certain times of the flight.

For instance, a pilot needs very good SA concerning runway and taxiway assignments prior to take-off, but this information ceases to be useful after departure.

Information on the frequency concerning your own aircraft is more important than ATC instructions to other aircraft, but it may be useful to retain some SA of the latter ‘party-line’ information, in case ATC mistakenly clear another aircraft to your level.