A community is termed “discourse” when it shares common goals guided by similar objectives and has uniform ways of communicating with regards to those aims (Powell & Ruth 160). Therefore, a discourse community is identified through assessment of unique features it possess, which are not limited to specific lexis, intercommunication, and standard set of rules. The chosen discourse community is the Ryanair Airlines – a major EU airline traversing the continental Europe and the US flight destinations.
An airline might be difficult to surface as far as the discourse community is involved, but it proves to be one of the biggest discourses to analyze. As defined above, a discourse community has a common objective. As such, all the flight crews have similar goal: taking people to their desired destination safely. They also have a set of clearly outlined procedures, pieces of training, and methods that help achieve the stated purpose.
Duties and Positions of Aircrew
The flight is a composite of the pilot, pilot assistant, and flight attendants, whose individual and collective contributions promote the achievement of timely and safely arrival of passengers to their destinations (Powell & Ruth 177). As the main member of the crew, the pilot is an individual licensed to fly both private and commercial flights. Apart from flying the plane, he or she also must ensure the flight instruments, engines, and controls alongside other flight operation systems are in good condition before taking off. A pilot has the right to choose proper routes, speed, and altitudes as per the air traffic control commands to minimize chances of a flights collision. It is done through coordination with the air traffic control during arrival instructions and takeoff clearances. The takeoffs and arrival information helps them in determining whether to take any informed precautionary measures or not in order to enhance safety. Nevertheless, he or she has to indicate flight information, fuel consumption, flying altitude, and flight times in a written form as a monitory requirement (Powell & Ruth 179).
The pilot assistant provides support to the pilot during the flight being in control in case the pilot needs rest or technical assistance. Their primary role is to facilitate the workload of the pilot. They also have to have the prerequisite qualification to perform the duties of the pilot when such need arises. Further, the flight attendants provide passenger support during flight to help them achieve convenience and safety. Before taking off, the pilot alerts them to the anticipated weather conditions, the duration of the flight, and a possibility of any turbulence. They are briefed on safety precautions and taken through emergency procedures and are expected to communicate the same to the passengers on board (Powell & Ruth 181).
For an individual to be a competent airplane crew member, he or she must attain the age of the majority and accomplish not less than 250 hours of flight time (Powell & Ruth 189). A physical examination must also be undertaken to limit the possibility of hearing or vision problems that might negate performance of their duties of safe and smooth flying. Quick reaction time, high standard problem-solving skills, depth perception and vast knowledge of flying systems, and undoubted ability to monitor them are required to be a licensed pilot. The same qualifications are applied to other positions to be an airplane crew member (Powell & Ruth 193).
Crew Resource Management forms the foundation for training the flight crew. The CRM composed of standard procedures implemented in environments where human errors have devastating consequences are used to enhance good leadership, overall air safety, effective communication, and proper crew members’ decision-making (Powell & Ruth 193).
On the other hand, governments have provided clear guidance through a Federal Aviation Administration. It performs its duties through technical assistance and pieces of training that are relevant to an individual’s level of expertise (Powell & Ruth 200). It designs, improves, and ensures technical training and subsequent certification for international aviation staff and provide infrastructure for air transport assessment and consultations. Governments have also formulated flight delay compensation taxation as a precautionary measure to protect the rights of potential customers and reassure commitment to quality service. The compensation takes into account the hours of delay in accordance to the European Union rule 261/2014; for instance, attaching a range of between £110 and £550 for a delay that has lasted over 3 hours (Powell & Ruth 201). As such, the aviation personnel have to adhere to the set standard rules and ensure that flights work at optimum levels to mitigate the possibility of any legal risk that might culminate into heavy fines and loss of customer loyalty and profit in general. Therefore, training takes into consideration clear timelines from when a passenger reserves the ticket to the time they are aboard.
A group that follows the same procedure to achieve similar goal is defined as a discourse community. Ryanair Airlines have the aim of helping passengers reach their destination safely with the flight crew working restlessly to ensure passengers’ convenience. A proper training has been undertaken to ensure that the crew effectively and efficiently communicates and coordinates flight activities taking into considerations the courses of actions to be performed in the case of any eventuality until they achieve their common goal.
Powell, Stephen M., and Ruth Kimberly Hill. “My Copilot is a Nurse – Using Crew Resource Management in the OR.” AORN Journal 83.1 (2006): 178-202.