Human Factors for RPAS Professionals

This professional Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) course covers human factors involved in the operation of unmanned aerial platforms across many different scenarios.

Key facts

Cost: $805 + GST

Delivery mode: Online

Time commitment: The course is offered online, enabling you to fit it in around your existing schedule.


Human factors principles that apply to pilots of manned aircraft are also relevant to operators in the unmanned aircraft industry.

This professional course was developed by Massey’s in-house RPAS consultant and the RPAS team leader and consists of 10 topics including the final assessment.

Who this course is for

This course is ideal for professionals working with unmanned aircraft that are undertaking complex operations (like night flying, long-endurance) or are using complex aircraft systems (for example those that require ground control stations).

It is particularly relevant to Part 102 operators and/or those engaging in multi-crew operations, night operations, and large, high-risk complex operations. Those applying for, or renewing, an OCA will find it particularly useful.

Why take this course

Pilots will gain knowledge that can be applied to real-world operations to better manage human performance.

Managers will be able to apply human factors principles to the design of systems and processes used within their organisation to minimise the likelihood of accidents.

Regulators will identify which human factors need to be appropriately managed by organisations undertaking complex unmanned aircraft organisations, allowing for effective regulatory oversight.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • explain the importance of human factors in aviation
  • apply the principles of visual perception
  • apply strategies for managing mental wellbeing
  • manage fatigue and circadian rhythms
  • design systems and processes based upon human cognition and decision-making
  • apply models of accident causation to help prevent future accidents
  • manage communication and assertiveness in multi-crew and organisational environments.

Course content and structure

The course uses self-learning exercises where students have the flexibility to apply concepts to their own work settings and receive feedback.

Modules include:

  • Introduction to Human Factors
  • Vison and Visual Illusions
  • Stress Anxiety and Depression
  • Sleep and Fatigue
  • Human Information Processing
  • Judgement and Decision Making
  • Crew Resource Management and Communication
  • Safety Culture and Just Culture
  • Discussion topic: Accidents- Manned, and Unmanned. This is designed to get students to start applying their knowledge to various scenarios.

The assessment is based on a self-learning portfolio and an online test, and requires a minimum 50% grade to pass.

Meet your facilitators

Dr Isaac Henderson

Dr Isaac Henderson

PhD, MAv, PGDipBus, BAvMan, AMRAeS
Lecturer - School of Aviation
School of Aviation
Massey Business School


Contact information

Contact the School of Aviation

Physical address

Massey University Aviation Centre

47 Airport Drive


Palmerston North

Find us on Google Maps.

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