by Thomas L Seamster; Barbara G Kanki; Book
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A Systems Approach to Information Management Improvement   (2010-10-16)
Information management for modern day flight operations is a critical area that is need of developed standards and recommended practice. In the Ashgate book Aviation Information Management a variety of authors discuss early developments within the industry that affect safety critical information and procedures, the human factors implications and considerations for information security. This chapter book is skillfully edited by Dr. Thomas Seamster and Dr. Barbara Kanki. The editors also wrote book chapters on the context of airline operational information, operator document systems and the future of aviation operational information.
The book contains 12 chapters, broken down into the structure, management, and innovations associated with aviation operational information. The chapter authors represent a cross section of aviation organizations that are engaged in developing information systems to support flight ops and maintenance operations. While at first the information may seem dated, the basic principles are just as applicable today and serve as a time-tested roadmap for organizations desiring to establish or improve information management systems. This book is a suitable primer and had applicability to other high-risk organizations such as the medical and nuclear industries. One of the focus areas is operational usability of information that respects time criticality, because if valid information cannot be found in a timely manner it is of little use. The importance of metadata is discussed, which drives creation, processing and interchange of information and eventually development of learning knowledge. Also the critical importance of industry data standards that allow creation of shared vocabularies and contextual processing of information is expanded upon, as it supports subsequent discussion of shared mental models.
Information systems must meet the time critical safety needs of each user group, whether they work in the operations center, hangar deck or on the flight deck. These user needs must be studied as information systems mature into electronic documents and a variety of media. The book provides information on the need for this developing system to be user centric rather than technologically oriented, creating information that is available to be shared, transformed and preserved. Several chapters address the need for source data to be repurposed in order to create dynamic, self-assembling information. Current research cites the cognitive demands associated with processing multiple information streams, and this book proposes a model that ensures the efficient delivery of information placed within the proper context, supportive of the current task, linked together and connected to supplemental information.
The book is 178 pages and also contains an excellent index and terms glossary, and is recommended for aerospace operations personnel and researchers in the development of aviation information systems.
By Kent Lewis, Signal Charlie
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