Aviation research is a broad, multidisciplinary field underpinned by the specialist areas related to aviation operations, management and safety. UNSW Science is recognised by both industry and academia as a global leader in aviation research.

Aviation Management is a broad and diverse topic containing a large number of areas. It involves the management of workflow and integration of airlines, airports and regulators, in a rapidly growing industry. Research in Aviation Management is a major strength of the School of Aviation. 

The main research areas in this topic are:

  • Aircraft Maintenance Scheduling
  • Airline Network Development
  • Airline Scheduling
  • Airport Terminal Planning
  • Aviation and Regional Development
  • Aviation Consumers
  • Aviation Finance
  • Aviation Law
  • Aviation Meteorology
  • Aviation Sustainability
  • Aviation, Recreation, Leisure, Travel and Tourism
  • Crew Schedule Optimisation

Aviation Operations are the activities concerning the movement of aircraft and passengers in and around airports. Aviation Operations’ research at UNSW Science focuses on efficiency and the effective utilisation of new technological advancements. 

UNSW Network Labs owns and operates an Airborne Remote Sensing Facility.

The School of Aviation at UNSW specialises in areas of Aviation Operations such as;

  • Autonomous Systems
  • Baggage Handling
  • Front Port Design
  • Gate Allocation Process
  • Ground Operations
  • Passenger Movement and Behaviour
  • Passenger Process
  • Passenger Purchase and Retail Behaviour

Aviation is a high-hazard, low-risk industry. Crucial in maintaining a low-risk environment is a safe systems approach, where human fallibilities are understood, and allowances are made for human error, divorcing errors from consequences. Aviation safety research at UNSW strives to understand the individual and the system they function in to in order to further improve safety. 

The UNSW Human Factors Research Laboratory is a purpose built research facility designed to further our understanding of human performance in complex systems such as aviation, road, and rail. The laboratory has a range of state-of-the-art simulators, including: driving, rail and aircraft simulators, as well as two fully instrumented vehicles (aircraft and automobile). The laboratory is equipped with a number of physiological measures, including: electroencephalogram (EEG), heart rate monitor, eye trackers and skin conductance device. 

Special research areas in aviation safety at UNSW include;

  • Safety and Risk Management
  • Human Factors
  • Injury Outcomes
  • Accident Investigations
  • Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS/Drones) Management
  • Workplace and Transport Safety including Risk Management
  • Crash Data Analysis and Statistics
  • Systems-based Safety Analysis