European Excellence Award

During the 2019 World ATM Congress​ in Madrid, the International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Associations (IFATSEA), the European Cockpit Association (ECA) and the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA) have jointly been awarded the Single European Sky Excellence Award.

The European Commission attributed the award to the “complete commitment from staff to delivering the essential services needed to enable capacity and deliver safety.”

Needless to say that as representatives of air traffic controllers worldwide, IFATCA is honoured to share this award with our engineering and pilot colleagues. We also want to explicitly recognise all of our members for their continued commitment and skill with which they uphold the highest safety standards in often challenging circumstances.

IFATCA wants to thank the European Commission for recognising the vital role the front-line operators play in keeping aviation the safest mode of transport.

Marc Baumgartner (left, IFATCA SES Coordinator), Costas Christoforou (middle, IFATSEA Regional Director Europe) and Loïc Michel (right, ECA Technical Policy Advisor) accepting the award on behalf of European staff.

International Women’s day 2019

Women and Equality in Air Traffic Control

There is a growing worldwide shortage of air traffic controllers, a profession which is key to a safe aviation industry. Forecasts from the International Civil Aviation Organisation, a United Nations specialized agency, predict a shortfall of over 40,000 controllers over the next 20 years.

Many of IFATCA’s Member Associations also report a decreasing interest from qualified applicants to pursue a career in ATC. As with aviation in general, women remain significantly under-represented in our profession. Given the gender imbalance, investing in making the profession more attractive to women could tap into a currently underused demographic, which currently risks missing out on up to 50 % of the recruitment base.

In most countries, female air traffic controllers remain a minority. While an increasing number of women have been working as controllers over the past decades, there is still a significant imbalance, even in the public perception of the job. While a controller requires specific skills, none of these correlates directly to gender. Our profession is generally open to female applicants, however greater effort is needed to make it more accessible and attractive to women, and to encourage them to apply.

The air traffic control community consists of an extremely diverse mix of people, in which women should be proportionally represented. One of the enablers for this is to have role models. In other words:

If She Can See It, She Can Be It

As the professional organisation representing over 50,000 air traffic controllers worldwide, IFATCA joins other organisations on March 8th, the International Women’s Day. We acknowledge the contributions of all female colleagues to our unique profession. At the same time, we recognise the women who are at the start of their career in ATC and encourage those that are considering pursuing one.

IFATCA highlights the importance of role models to help convince new generations of women that they have an essential role in aviation and in air traffic control. We call upon employers and lawmakers to ensure an equal opportunity environment exists in recruitment, training and career opportunities. Any existing bias should be removed, aiming for a more balanced gender distribution in air traffic control, and aviation in general.

13th Air Navigation Conference – IFATCA’s delegation at work for you at ICAO!

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.

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Competency-Based Training and Assessment (CBTA) Workshop – Buenos Aires, Argentina

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.

ICAO SID/STAR Implementation Support Team (ISSIST) officially launched!

SIDs and STARs have proven to be effective means of ensuring that the flow of traffic to/from an airport is as efficient as possible and that potential conflicts are procedurally and safely managed. This is particularly so when combined with optimum airspace design in a PBN environment. Additionally, they provide a means of prescribing and representing the large amount of information associated with the lateral and vertical profiles an aircraft is required to fly. 

However, over time, some of the benefits of SIDS and STARS have been eroded as diverging and sometimes conflicting meanings were attached to elements of the phraseology. In particular, there were reports of significant variances in the application of level and speed restrictions, leading to misunderstandings between flight crews and controllers, a number of incidents and a very real safety risk.

To mitigate this risk and at the request of the aviation community, work was undertaken by the ICAO ATM Operations Panel (ATMOPSP), with extensive consultation throughout the development process. The agreed outcome led to new SID/STAR phraseologies that became applicable in 2016.

Click here for more information

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Aviation English Proficiency Course, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Controllers from Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Ecuador recently completed an IFATCA sponsored five-day Aviation English Proficiency Course in Santa Cruz, Bolivia November 13-17. MAs and controllers from the entire region were invited to participate and the class filled up with over 25 participants, including a pilot.

The course was taught by Ronald Vega, MA from 2019 Conference host Costa Rica.  Ron actually assisted the FAA in the United States with the creation of some of the material used in the course.  Each student was given an E-textbook and accompanying CD so they could share their knowledge with ATCOs in their home facilities.

The Americas Region looks forward to hosting the next "Think Safety" seminar planned for February 6-8, 2018 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

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The IFATCA European Regional Meeting in Austria, 26-28th September 2017

120 participants from 34 member associations made their way to Hotel Sonnreich in Loipersdorf, Austria to participate in the 34th ERM.
The issues discussed ranged from Fatigue Management, Single European Sky, Sovereignty of airspace, Privatisation in ANS, IFATCA working papers, FISOs to new EASA regulations. Maria Serano Mulet from USCA led the meeting with lively discussions and involvement from the audience.
The meeting showed that the problems in our industry are far from being solved and that Air Navigation Service in Europe is in transformation, which requires that we work together to find new ways to influence the decision makers to secure a high standard of service. Besides the professional issues, we also had time to enjoy the social program that our hosts from the Austrian ATCA had organised.
A warm thank you to all the people from AATCA that made this a memorable and well organised ERM.

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2017 International Day of the Controller

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On October 20th, IFATCA invites everyone to join and celebrate the International Day of The Controller. The day coincides with the constitutional meeting of our Federation, held in Amsterdam in 1961. Member Associations around the world organise events for their members and/or a wider audience. It puts our profession, which is still relatively unknown to the general public, in the spotlight.

Anyone that wants to download the official Day of the Controller 2017 poster, can do so via this link [via dropbox]

Think Safety Workshop – Accra, Ghana

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On the 3-5th of April around 40 people participated to the 2nd ICAO/IFATCA think safety seminar. Participants came from Kenya, The Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Ghana and ranged from CAA representatives, ANS managers to ATCOs. The course revolved around Safety management systems, incident investigations, Critical Incident Stress Management and Just Culture. The three-day course was based on ICAO Annex 19 and systemic safety ideas. The workshop was superbly organised by our Ghanaian member association, GHATCA, who is also the host of next years IFATCA conference.

IFATCA Technical Award

Recipients of the IFATCA Technical Award

2017 – NAVCanada NAVCANsuite

2016 – Frequentis

2015 – Imtradex

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