Safe Operations in Aerospace Research (SOAR) Labs

Katrina Avers, PhD, Branch Manager

Contact Dr. Avers about Safe Operations in Aerospace Research (SOAR) Labs

The Civil Aerospace Medical Institute's Safe Operations in Aerospace Research Labs, also known as SOAR Labs, is the only laboratory group of its kind in the Federal Aviation Administration and is considered a global leader in aviation human factors research. The world of science and aviation is continuously evolving with new technologies, aircraft, and operational environments that interface with humans. SOAR labs conduct research that examines humans within the dynamic aerospace system and empowers data-driven decision-making for National Aerospace System (NAS) expansion, efficiency, and safety.

SOAR Labs is a full-spectrum research facility that covers every phase of flight from pre-flight to landing and maintenance and can replicate more than 95% of the NAS and supports every active type of flight operation, including general aviation, cargo, commercial, on-demand, supersonic, and electronic vertical take-off and lift aircraft. Our research involves pilots, flight attendants, maintenance technicians, cargo load supervisors, ramp operators, and aviation safety inspectors.

The mission of the laboratory group is to provide quality and timely human performance research that informs science-based and data-driven changes to policy, regulations, and aviation operations that ensure aerospace safety and efficiency. Ultimately, our research enables the:

  • the safest airspace system in the world,
  • improved efficiency and capacity of the National Airspace System, and
  • expansion of operational capabilities and adoption of new technologies to make aviation safer and smarter

What We Do

Humans are critical to the success of aviation operations; they are our greatest protectors of aviation safety but also introduce the greatest level of risk in the aerospace system as they interact with complex technologies and systems. Human Factors are all around us! The goal of human factors research is to reduce human error, increase productivity, and enhance safety and comfort with a specific focus on the interaction between humans and technology, processes, and systems.

The field is a combination of numerous disciplines, such as psychology, cognitive neuroscience, sociology, engineering, biomechanics, industrial design, physiology, anthropometry, interaction design, visual design, user experience, and user interface design.

Our Mission

To provide quality and timely human performance research that informs science-based and data-driven changes to policy, regulations, and aviation operations that ensure optimal aerospace safety and efficiency.

Our Vision

To be a global leader in aviation human factors research using innovative research methodologies, technologies, and collaborations that empower science-based, data-driven decision-making for National Aerospace expansion, efficiency, and safety.

Last updated: Tuesday, November 14, 2023