Safety culture in Swedish air traffic control

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


European air traffic control is undergoing changes in organization and technology in order to increase efficiency in air traffic. Change processes can have a negative impact on existing safety cultures, the foundations of safety work, and on safety. This paper reports on an assessment of safety culture at one administrative and two operative units in a Swedish air traffic control setting, using questionnaire packages and interviews, and focuses on 391 questionnaire respondents. The objectives of the study were to obtain baseline data of safety culture aspects and relationships between safety culture and organizational climate before major organizational and technical changes were implemented, and to yield reference data on safety culture aspects in this transport branch. The safety culture aspects were generally perceived and judged to be good by the respondents. Relationships were identified between the organizational climate and the safety culture at the two operative units, where a higher level of Support for ideas and a lower level of Conflicts were positively related to many of the investigated safety culture aspects. The general safety culture in the air traffic control setting was found to be on a somewhat higher average score level than that found in the authors' previous studies of passenger shipping and airport ground handling.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
  • Psychology


  • air traffic, safety climate, organizational climate, safety culture, control
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-811
JournalSafety Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch