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.

Annual Report from the Expert Group on the Human Dimension

The Expert Group on the Human Dimension (EGHD) of the Single European Sky (SES) was formally established by the European Commission in 2017 to advise on the implementation and development of SES from a human dimension perspective. It represents the opinion of all frontline operators and support staff who are impacted by the latest regulatory, operational and technological changes resulting from SES. The group is co-chaired by Paul Neering, an experienced IFATCA Representative. Within the group, IFATCA is represented by Anders Liebl (DK). They have just published their 2018 Annual Report, which gives an excellent overview of the importance of this group.

PCX Resignation

The Executive Board of IFATCA regrets to announce the resignation of Mr. Patrik Peters, IFATCA President & Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 March 2019.

In a letter to the IFATCA Member Associations, Mr. Peters explained that personal circumstances no longer allow him to fully focus on the needs of the Federation. Over the past 13 years, Mr. Peters has held several positions on the Executive Board, including the post of President and Chief Executive Officer for the last 5 years. As such, we are humbled by and grateful for his long dedication to our Federation and commitment to the air traffic control profession.

Mr. Peters took this decision in full coordination with the Executive Board. We therefore expect the transition to be smooth, despite the fact that Mr. Peters’ input and experience will leave a void. In accordance with our constitution, the responsibilities of the President and Chief Executive Officer will automatically transfer to the Deputy President until the next annual conference.

The e-mail address [email protected] will remain active for the foreseeable future for personal messages to Mr. Peters. For issues addressing the Federation, kindly contact the IFATCA Office at [email protected] or the Deputy President at [email protected]

Our Member Associations will formally elect a successor to Mr. Peters at our Annual Conference in Costa Rica, from May 20-24, 2019. The outcome of the elections of the Executive Board will be communicated in due time.

On behalf of the IFATCA Executive Board,

Duncan Auld
Deputy President

Letter to Argentinian Government

IFATCA has addressed the government of Argentina, through its President – His Excellency Mauricio Macri. We are extremely concerned about the disrespect for international safety culture standards at the Aeroparque Jorge Newberry airport. Following a single complaint from one pilot regarding an event where safety was not compromised in any way, the controllers working at the time were removed from their position, seemingly as a disciplinary measure. The information we have suggested they were replaced by staff who may not have been licensed or rated for the positions they occupied, clearly creating a serious breach of the applicable safety levels.

The full letter, in Spanish and in English can be found here.

Congratulations to GATCO and the UK for involving professionals that have hands on expertise!

Congratulations to GATCO – The Guild of Air Traffic Control Officers and BALPA for making sure professional voices are being heard! Active involvement from the front line is essential for these kind of projects – not only in the UK!

Productive Meeting with ITF

On January 18th, IFATCA representatives met with membersof the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). The meeting successfullyagreed on a common approach to the challenges of planned remote towersoperations, whether sequential or simultaneous. We also paved the way for arenewed memorandum of understanding between our organizations and planned acommon workshop to brief our members on how to deal with conflict/disputeresolution.

We especially want to thank NATCA representatives AdamRhodes and Jeff Richards for coming over to Europe, despite the shutdown and theissues this is causing for their members and them personally!

IFATCA / ECA JOINT PRESS RELEASE

- - 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.

Note to editors:

ECA is the representative body of European pilot associations, representing over 38.000 pilots from across Europe, striving for the highest levels of aviation safety and fostering social rights and quality employment for pilots in Europe.

Website: www.eurocockpit.be & twitter @eu_cockpit

The Controller magazine – November 2018

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.
  • 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
http://www.the-controller.net

2018_03

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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IFATCA Technical Award

Recipients of the IFATCA Technical Award

2017 – NAVCanada NAVCANsuite

2016 – Frequentis

2015 – Imtradex

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