International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations
IFATCA is the recognised international organisation representing air traffic controller associations.
The Federation has been representing air traffic controllers for more than 50 years,
and has more than 50,000 members in over 125 countries.
One Sky - One Voice
IFATCA is an international Federation, with Member Associations in more than 130 countries from all corners of the globe.
IFATCA unites and defends the professional aspects of the air traffic controller profession.
NOT FOR PROFIT
IFATCA is a registered not-for-profit organisation in Montréal, Canada.
IFATCA maintains political independence.
- - PRESS RELEASE - -
IFATCA & ECA are deeply concerned about the negative impact of judicial decisions on air transport safety in and over Switzerland
The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations, IFATCA, and the European Cockpit Association, ECA, are extremely disappointed to learn of the conviction of two Air Traffic Controllers in Switzerland. In April and December 2018, two air traffic controllers were convicted by the Federal Penal Court and by the Cantonal Court of Zurich respectively for operational incidents. No one was injured in either event, nor was there any damage sustained to any of the involved aircraft or to ground infrastructure. This reaction does nothing to improve aviation safety.
Aviation is the safest mode of transport, and accidents are extremely rare. This is thanks to the continuous effort to learn from incidents where the stringent aviation standards may not have been met. A ‘Just Culture’ is one where aviation professionals, including pilots and air traffic controllers, are encouraged to report issues relevant to safety without undue fear of punishment. This makes the aviation system safer. Despite drastic increases in traffic, safety levels have continued to improve to the level the flying public enjoys today.
Switzerland remains one of the few States that has chosen to deviate from international standards and recommendations - including those in the Annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation - when it comes to using safety reports to trigger court cases. The Swiss judicial system is limited by the 1942 penal code which binds the courts to perform in a manner that is not benefical to aviation safety. An urgent review is needed in line with Resolutions 38-3 and 38-4 of the General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the aviation specialised body of the United Nations.
Aviation, and in particular air traffic control, is a complex industry where the front-end operator is working as an integral part of the system, interacting in teams with systems and procedures. These complex systems are extremely resilient and do not fail only because of one element of the system, it is the system that fails, not the individual.
Lengthy and costly court cases do not improve aviation safety, nor do they contribute to the robustness of complex systems. They create a climate of fear amongst aviation professionals and result in a reluctance to submit reports. The opportunity to learn from these events is therefore severely compromised. Just Culture is not a carte blanche for aviation professionals, including air traffic controllers. It is an essential cornerstone that allows aviation professionals to actively engage in the process of improving safety.
IFATCA & ECA urgently call upon Switzerland to align with other States and International standards, to incorporate the principles of Just Culture into their legal system in order to provide for a balanced approach between safety and the administration of justice.
It is our pleasure to present the latest electronic issue of The Controller. Our magazine is available on a variety of platforms:
- The IFATCA website: http://the-controller.ifatca.org, where issues can be read from within your browser. While this can be read on mobile devices, it does require you to be online (and your provider may charge you for this).
For the best experience, we recommend to select the full screen option via the toolbar on top of the pages.
- Mobile Devices (tablets): We've switched to issuu.com for the best experience on mobile devices. The issuu.com app, which allows you to read The Controller offline on your tablet can be downloaded via http://ios.the-controller.net, http://android.the-controller.net and http://windows.the-controller.net. Best of all, the issues are now available for free - look for IFATCA once you've started the app.
- PDF Version: download the pdf version of the latest issue. This file is about 5Mb in size and requires a PDF viewer to be able to read it. A higher quality version is available via this link (20Mb).
- For Member Associations: a print-ready PDF version (about 20Mb) can be downloaded that can eventually be printed for your members. Alternatively, issuu.com also offers a printing service. Please visit http://issuu.com/ifatca for more details. Associations that have problems to download these files can request a copy on a USB stick. Please contact our Montréal office via [email protected].
Besides being free, an electronic issue also offers new possibilities to interact with the content. Links in articles and adverts can be clicked and open to the relevant pages.
Feedback is always welcome and if you know anyone that might be interested in The Controller and IFATCA, please encourage them to subscribe to our magazine and/or forward this mail to them.
On behalf of the Editorial Team, I hope you will enjoy this latest issue of The Controller,
Thom Metzger, The Controller Editorial Team
The 13th Air Navigation Conference took place in Montréal, Canada, from 9 to 19 October 2018. It was attended by 1022 participants, from 116 States and 37 International Organizations. Over 300 working papers and information papers were presented and discussed in two committees.
Committee A discussed the technical items of the Conference: air navigation global strategy, enabling and enhancing the global air navigation system, implementing the global air navigation system and the role of planning and implementation regional groups (PIRGs) and finally, emerging issues. Committee B handled all safety related items of the Conference: organizational safety issues, operational safety risks and emerging safety issues.
IFATCA was well represented at the Conference by a delegation comprising the Deputy President, Duncan Auld, the Executive Vice-President Professional, Peter Van Rooyen, the Executive Vice-President Technical, Ignacio Baca, and the Liaison Officer to ICAO, Jean-François Lepage.
IFATCA presented 7 working papers, in partnership with other international organizations, on global runway safety action plans, on the concept of acceptable level of safety performance, on the integration of drones within ATM, on cybersecurity, on remote ATS, on commercial space operations, and on the protection of safety data and safety information.
IFATCA also intervened on eight occasions to share the views of the Federation on a variety of topics: role of the human in the development of the GANP, proposed update of Doc 9426 (ATS Planning Manual), certification of ANSPs, remote ATS, challenges in aviation phraseology, investments in ATM, coordination of flights through controlled airspace for space operations, management of fatigue for ATCOs, and global ANS personnel shortage.
Download now the newly published "JUST CULTURE TOOLBOX"! The toolbox contains a set of guiding principles for implementing a Just Culture. While many documents have been written about Just Culture, very few have actually addressed ‘how’ to achieve one. Achieving a Just Culture in any organisation is complex; that's why ATCEUC, CANSO, ETF, IFAIMA, IFATCA and IFATSEA have developed this toolbox for you, in order the help you and your Member Association achieve this goal.
Visit our "Guidance Material" section or click here to download the toolbox!
As you may have heard, Indonesia was struck by another earthquake last week. This time, the epicentre was near the island of Sulawesi. In addition to the strong quake, a devastating tsunami hit Palu Bay. Currently, there are over 1,000 fatalities reported.
Our thoughts go out to the many victims of this disaster and especially to one of our colleagues: Anthonius Gunawan Agung was was the only person left in the control tower of Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu when the magnitude-7.5 quake struck the coastal city on Friday. He remained behind to ensure a flight that was about to take off could do so safely. The decision to stay cost him his life, but potentially saved hundreds of others. Agung was born in 1996 in Abepura - Papua. He graduated from the Aviation Training Centre in Makassar on 2017. He was working at AiNav Indoneaia since June 2018. He was still single and would turn 22 later this month.
Via our Indonesian member association, IFATCA has reached out to the family: we've sent a wreath and have made a donation towards the costs of the service. We are evaluating whether we can help in any other way. In the mean time, we would encourage everyone to consider donating to the relief efforts for Indonesia: over the past months, different parts of the country have been hit by major earthquakes and any help is welcome. A number of non-government organisations have set up fund raisers to collect money towards the relief efforts. Please look in your country for such actions and consider donating - every little bit helps.
On behalf of the IFATCA Executive Board and all our Federation's members, we again extend our sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. We hope they find some comfort in remembering his bravery and commitment to our profession. May he rest in peace.
Lastly, we salute our colleagues in Palu, who in very difficult circumstances continue to provide air traffic control services. In doing so, they're a vital link in the crucial relief efforts for the area.
IFATCA's Technical and Operations Committee (TOC) met at Tbilisi, Georgia this week to coordinate the work in progress and discuss the drafts of the papers to be presented in the next Annual Conference.
Amongst the subjects discussed, the committee studied the interoperability of automation systems, the use of parameters downloaded through Mode S radar and the issues resulting from airport surfaces becoming larger.
Our colleagues from the Georgian association were more than excellent hosts and organizers. Some of them joined the sessions and took the opportunity to discuss some local operational issues with their colleagues from abroad.
The members of the TOC will use all the input collectd during the meeting to further improve their working papers. A final meeting shortly before the Conference will then finalise the papers before distributing them to IFATCA's Member Associations so they can be debated at Conference.
The first IFATCA Competency-Based Training and Assessment Workshop was held at the ATEPSA Hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 10-11 September 2018.
The event was attended by more than 35 participants from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Panama, The Bahamas, and Trinidad & Tobago.
IFATCA would like to sincerely thank ATEPSA, and in particular Eva Rios, for the extraordinary organization of this event; her incredible dedication ensured the success of the workshop. ATEPSA graciously provided well equipped facilities, refreshments and meals for all participants and instructors.
The last day of the EB meeting was dedicated to a final review of the work done during the previous days on strategic lines for the Federation. This included work on what can be considered the IFATCA pillars: ICAO work, TOC and PLC, Regions, Safety, Training Courses and Prospective activities.
The rest of the day was dedicated to prepare for the upcoming IFATCA Conference in Costa Rica, 2019.
The next EB meeting will take place in February 2019. Many thanks to our Argentinean hosts for their hospitality and help in organizing this meeting. Significant action points arising from the meeting:
• The EB will finalise establishment of the Tactical Response Team (TRT).
• The EB developed an action plan for the ‘IFATCA joint human machine system’ concept.
• The EB confirms the 58th annual conference of IFATCA being a 5-day event with the opening ceremony on Monday morning, closing on Friday afternoon.
• The EB continued work on formalizing the ‘Remote TWRs’ and ‘Drones’ groups and also considered the addition of other groups focused on ‘Safety’ and prospective activities.
• The EB formalized internal processes to manage financial matters in the absence of an EVP-Finance.
• The EB reviewed expenditures for the first 3 months of the financial year and verified being well within the approved budget.
• The EB decided to hold a “Think Safety” course for the Executive Board and members of TOC and PLC at their joint meeting in March 2019.
• The EB reviewed the IFATCA training courses and decided the continuation of this initiative.
• The EB worked significantly on the IFATCA operating plan.
• The EB finalised preparation for the upcoming ICAO Air Navigation Conference.
Over the past few months, IFALPA and IFATCA have been working jointly to produce a document for pilots and air traffic controllers to improve the information flow between the two groups and to coordinate the response when a drone is reported as being sighted.
Drone sightings by commercial aircraft are on the rise. There have been numerous cases of airspaces and aerodromes being closed due to reports of drones in the vicinity. Many countries do not yet have standard procedures to deal with drone sightings near aerodromes or violations of controlled airspace by drones. These guidelines are not a one-fits-all solution due to the dynamic and unpredictable nature of drone encounters but can be used to support the implementation of standard procedures and help pilots and air traffic controllers handle drone reports until such procedures are in place.
Click here to view the leaflet, or visit the
EDUCATION > GUIDANCE MATERIAL section.
On the 4th day of the EB meeting, EB members visited the tower of Aeroparque and learned about the complexities of an area where 5 airports are located in close proximity and also were briefed about the main issues for the Argentinian Air Traffic Control system.
EVP Technical presented his report of activities including an update of the development of the Technical and Operations Committee work. IFATCA’s Liaison Officer to the ICAO ANC also presented his work at ICAO and the ongoing preparations in view of the 13th Air Navigation Commission.
EVP Professional’s report was focused on the courses developed by IFATCA which have already been of use for a number of associations: Aviation English, Think Safety, Competency Based Training. He also updated the information regarding the Professional and Legal Committee.
Objectives of the Federation
The objects of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations are:
a. To operate as a non-‐profit and non-‐political federation of air traffic controllers' associations;
b. To promote safety, efficiency and regularity in International Air Navigation;
c. To assist and advise in the development of safe and orderly systems of Air Traffic Control;
d. To promote and uphold a high standard of knowledge and professional efficiency among Air Traffic Controllers;
e. To protect and safeguard the interests of the Air Traffic Control profession;
f. To make mutual benefit affiliations with other international professional organisations;
g. To strive for a world-‐wide Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations.
Official Seal of The Federation
IFATCA maintains valuable relationships with the ICAO, other aviation industry and professional bodies, and our Corporate Members.