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The dynamics of the air transport industry and the tourism industry, including air transport regulatory environments, airline and airport productivity and efficiency, aviation demand forecasting, future tourism activities and trends and its relationship with air transport industry.
Research into alternative fuels and sustainability, for example applications of biodiesel on a general aviation diesel engine and a micro-turbo jet engine.
Decision making in aviation; particularly those decisions which might affect safety in general aviation.
We also have special interests in the fields of statistics, safety and psychology/human factors.
Research into miscommunications in air traffic and implications for safety.
Sustainable development in aviation, for example how environmental friendly and customer-oriented practices can lead to sustainable growth in aviation.
Our research is investigating developing low-cost simulators and apps to aid pilot decision making.
We are also actively researching UAV developments and simulators. For example we work on mathematical models of force feed-back on the control column of a low cost simulator.
Research from Massey University’s Sleep/Wake Research Centre shows that airline cabin crew who perceive they have higher workloads also feel more sleepy and fatigued, and perform more poorly on a reaction time test conducted in flight.
In general aviation, cognitive biases can lead pilots to continue on their initial flight plan when deteriorating weather conditions suggest that the safe option might be to turn back or to divert. This is one of the primary causes of fatal accidents.
Associate Professor Andrew Gilbey and Dr Stephen Walmsley (Massey PhD graduate) have been investigating de-biasing pilots who were considering whether to continue a flight into deteriorating weather conditions, in attempts to find ways to make them more likely to divert or turn back. The de-biasing appeared to have little effect, showing how pervasive and enduring the effects are of cognitive biases in general aviation decision making.
Associate Professor Kan Tsui examined the impact of Jetstar (Low-cost carrier, LCC) on the growth of New Zealand's domestic tourism sector and the policy implications of the significance of the LCC's operations on New Zealand's domestic tourism and airport infrastructure. His research found that the LCC's services, GDP per capita, the regional tourism indicators, (accommodation, and food and beverage), and land transport costs affected New Zealand's domestic tourism growth. His research has implications for the significance of the LCC's operations on New Zealand's domestic tourism, domestic airline competition and airport authorities.
Research from Massey University’s Sleep/Wake Research Centre has highlighted how pilots use in-flight sleep to manage fatigue, and what they do before they fly to prepare.
The study, led by Dr Jennifer Zaslona, examined qualitative feedback from 291 pilots on 17 different flights, across three aircraft types. The research involved pilots from four airlines based across three continents. The feedback had been collected during previous studies on sleep and performance, and surveyed pilots on their sleep at home, in-flight sleep, fatigue and performance on specific flight routes.