Commercial aviation practices, including the role of the pilot monitoring, the sterile flight deck rule, and computerised checklists, have direct applicability to anaesthesia care. Checklists are commonly used in the operating room, especially the World Health Organization surgical safety checklist. However, the use of aviation-style computerised checklists offers additional benefits. In this editorial, Jelacic et al. discuss how these commercial aviation practices may be applied in the operating room.