Twice a year TOC comes together for a 3-day meeting to discuss the progress and the desired outcome of the papers. Although a great share of the discussion is done via email throughout the year, meeting in person provides the opportunity to have more in depth discussions. By having the meeting in different places, the committee is able to involve corresponding members or by some paper subjects concerned MAs in the discussion.
In January 2017, the meeting took place in Tokyo, Japan. Since there were several combined papers on the working program, the final day of the meeting has been a combined TOC/PLC meeting. This day was also the start of the 3 days of meeting PLC had scheduled.
Several subjects were discussed during the meeting.
The paper on Ambient Workplace Recording (AWR, combined PLC/TOC) created much discussion. The controversial subject is current is many countries. In a world where aviation and incident reporting is not only getting more and more important, but also more transparent, the urge to implement systems such as AWR is getting bigger.
The lengthy discussions on the subject showed that this implementation is a delicate issue. To stand against AWR seems to be the easiest way forward, especially regarding the many discussions on privacy issues, which are not solely aviation related. However, as said before, there is a big push toward implementation so the question is if our objection would actually prevent it. Also, AWR could be beneficial to safety investigation is some cases, not just for the overall result but also for an ATCO’s case in particular. There is no hesitation that the AWR data collected should be handled with extreme care.
The committees decided that no AWR records shall be made public. Since the data will be used for incident investigation, it was agreed that a censured transcript of the data is needed. Sufficient and clear agreements on when to use the AWR data and who is allowed to access the data should be made between controllers and management.
These kinds of comprehensive subjects usually create a lot of discussion. By having these discussions, the committees try to cover all point of views so that they can epitomize this in widely supported policy statements to be presented during conference