Communication and trust are fundamental factors in the operation of complex and highly regulated industries like aviation maintenance. This article reviews two preconditions of human error: communication and trust, as well as the way these are linked as aviation researchers have only recently started to study factors not individually, but rather by combining their effects. Communication is essential in the exchange of information and knowledge in aviation maintenance. The conditions that make communication effective and miscommunication avoidable are explored. Next, ways of communication, like aircraft maintenance documentation, are discussed along with appreciation of how communication is valued in aviation maintenance. Trust within different aspects of maintenance practice (interpersonal trust, trust towards technology, initial levels of trust) is presented and analysed, as well as examined as a prerequisite of effective communication. The characteristics of trust, its forms and results are identified in the literature with limited sources from the aviation bibliography, as it is a domain barely explored. Therefore, a gap has been identified in the study of trust and the exploration of the combined traits of communication and trust in aviation maintenance. Recommendations for additional research in this field are provided.
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