Flight Redemptions

What is EC in Aviation? (Engineering Control (Also E/C))

Updated: February 22, 2024

The Importance of Engineering Control in Aviation

Aviation is a complex industry that requires meticulous attention to detail and strict adherence to safety standards. One crucial aspect of ensuring the safety of both passengers and crew members is the implementation of engineering control (E/C) measures. Engineering control refers to the use of engineering solutions to mitigate risks and hazards in aviation operations. In this article, we will explore the significance of engineering control in aviation and how it contributes to a safer and more efficient industry.

The Role of Engineering Control in Safety Management Systems

Safety is paramount in aviation, and safety management systems (SMS) play a vital role in maintaining a high level of safety. Engineering control is an integral component of SMS, as it focuses on preventing accidents and incidents by identifying and controlling hazards. By implementing robust engineering control measures, aviation organizations can reduce the likelihood of accidents and mitigate the severity of their consequences.

One key aspect of engineering control is the identification and assessment of hazards. This involves conducting thorough risk assessments to identify potential risks associated with various aviation operations. Hazards can range from mechanical failures and equipment malfunctions to human errors and environmental factors. By identifying these hazards, aviation professionals can develop effective engineering control measures to minimize their impact.

Engineering control measures can vary depending on the specific hazards identified. They may involve the use of protective equipment, the implementation of safety procedures, or the design and modification of equipment and infrastructure. For example, in the case of aircraft maintenance, engineering control measures may include the regular inspection and maintenance of aircraft systems, the use of safety devices and protective gear by maintenance personnel, and the implementation of standardized procedures to ensure consistent and safe practices.

The Role of Engineering Control in Preventing Human Error

Human error is a significant factor in aviation accidents and incidents. While it is impossible to completely eliminate human error, engineering control measures can help mitigate its impact. By designing systems and processes that account for human factors, such as limitations in attention, memory, and decision-making, aviation professionals can reduce the likelihood of errors.

Engineering control measures aimed at preventing human error may include the use of automation and advanced technologies. For example, the implementation of automated flight control systems and cockpit displays can assist pilots in making accurate decisions and reduce the risk of errors. Additionally, the design of cockpit layouts and instrument panels can optimize display and control arrangements, minimizing the chance of confusion or misinterpretation.

Furthermore, engineering control measures can address human error through the implementation of effective training programs. By providing comprehensive training on standard operating procedures, emergency protocols, and human factors awareness, aviation organizations can enhance the knowledge and skills of their personnel, reducing the likelihood of errors due to lack of knowledge or improper practices.

The Future of Engineering Control in Aviation

As technology continues to advance, the future of engineering control in aviation looks promising. Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, have the potential to revolutionize the industry by enhancing safety and efficiency.

One area where these technologies can have a significant impact is predictive maintenance. By analyzing data from aircraft systems in real-time, artificial intelligence algorithms can detect potential failures or malfunctions before they occur. This proactive approach allows maintenance crews to address issues promptly, minimizing the risk of in-flight failures and disruptions.

Furthermore, the integration of artificial intelligence and automation in air traffic control systems can optimize airspace management and improve the overall efficiency of air traffic operations. By reducing human intervention and relying on sophisticated algorithms, aviation organizations can enhance safety and reduce the risk of errors caused by human factors.

It is important to note that while these advancements in technology offer numerous benefits, they also present challenges. As aviation embraces the use of artificial intelligence and automation, it is crucial to ensure that appropriate safeguards and redundancies are in place to prevent system failures or unintended consequences.

The Continuous Evolution of Engineering Control

The field of engineering control in aviation is continuously evolving as new technologies emerge and safety standards evolve. It is essential for aviation professionals to stay updated with the latest developments and best practices in engineering control to ensure the highest level of safety in the industry.

By prioritizing engineering control measures and integrating them into safety management systems, aviation organizations can create a culture of safety and resilience. Through effective hazard identification, risk assessment, and the implementation of appropriate engineering control measures, the aviation industry can continue to enhance safety, efficiency, and passenger experience.


Aviation Safety Network. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://aviation-safety.net/
International Civil Aviation Organization. (2013). Safety Management Manual (SMM) (3rd ed.). Retrieved from https://www.icao.int/safety/SafetyManagement/Documents/Doc9859_cons_en.pdf
Transport Canada. (n.d.). Safety Management Systems for Civil Aviation: A Basic Introduction. Retrieved from https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/publications/tp10643-menu-6579.htm

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