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.



IFATCA is a registered not-for-profit organisation in Montréal, Canada.



IFATCA maintains political independence.

Latest News

EB Meeting – Day 3

The third day of the EB meeting was focused on continued development of the long term operating plan for the Federation. A review of the global activities was correlated to constitutional objectives and regional priorities. The EB attended a team building event displaying Argentinean culture and traditions. The day concluded with a teleconference regarding the finances of the Federation.


EB Meeting – Day 2

The EB meeting goes on for the second day. The EVP Americas presented IFATCA activity in the region with special mention to the English language courses that have been organized in several countries of the region.

The report of EVP Europe focused on the Single European Sky evolution and the objectives of RP3 (third reporting period).

The EB also dedicated a session to review the strategy of the Federation to set its course for the following years.

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EB Meeting – Day 1

Meeting of the EB at Buenos Aires. During the first day of the meeting the EB discussed how to improve communication within IFATCA to ensure that information about the work of the Federation is available to every MA.

During this first day, the EB received the report of the EVP Asia-Pacific and EVP Africa-Middle East about their regions. During the session, the EB got a telephonic update from the Ethiopian MA about their situation with several controllers put under arrest following an strike considered as illegal by the Ethiopian government. The EB studied how the escalation of tension can affect operations and safety and discussed ways for the Federation to help to normalize the situation.

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Martyn Gregory Cooper, 1949-2018

IFATCA is deeply saddened by the passing of its former Executive Vice President Professional, Martyn Cooper.

Having qualified as a controller in the summer of 1973 at his home airport in Luton, UK, Martyn soon found a passion in training new colleagues. Over time, he was the logical choice to become a unit training officer and the unit’s first Local Competency Examiner. Later, he joined the CAA’s Director of Airspace Policy as the NATS representative in the Terminal Airspace Section and it was from here that he retired in 2009.

He joined the London branch of GATCO shortly after qualifying, showing particular interests in the professional aspects of the air traffic control profession. Consequently, he joined GATCO’s Executive Board as Director Professional. Amongst his many achievements in that function, he was instrumental in the introduction of a scheme to control ATCO working hours, a system that remains in place even today.

It was during his tenure as GATCO Board Member that he also became involved in IFATCA. He chaired numerous Committee C sessions, dealing with professional and legal issues, during annual conferences and was involved in the Federation’s Standing Committee IV, the precursor to the Professional & Legal Committee (PLC). His passion for professional and human factor issues made him serve as IFATCA’s Executive Vice President Professional at the end of the 1990s.

The IFATCA family will fondly remember Martyn for his cheerful personality, humour, knowledge, insight and good common sense. But above all, his was able to transfer his deep passion for our profession onto others.

On behalf of the IFATCA Executive Board, our deepest condolences go out to his wife Carolyn, two sons Christian & Matthew, his two daughters-in-law and three grandchildren.


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


Publication of ICAO Doc 10084 and associated events

Last Friday, June 1st 2018, ICAO published the Second Edition of Doc 10084, Risk Assessment Manual for Civil Aircraft Operations Over or Near Conflict Zones. The document was published on the ICAO public website, and is available for downlowd free of charge at the following link:

The enhanced guidance material in the manual is based on existing ICAO provisions and industry practices related to:

a)      responsibilities of States, operators and other services providers within States;
b)      significant regulatory developments and existing practices since the downing of flight MH17 in 2014;
c)      consolidated source material for conducting risk assessments;
d)      outline of risk information sharing mechanisms;
e)      guidance to States and operators on what to do with threat and risk information; and
f)       existing mechanisms for State-to-operator and/or State-to State sharing of information.

To support the implementation of the new manual and its comprehensive guidance material, several initiatives will be conducted by ICAO and industry partners in the upcoming months:

·        IATA AVSEC World Conference, 1 October 2018, Athens, Greece
·        ICAO AVSEC Symposium, 26-28 November 2018, Montréal, Canada

For more details on these events, visit 


The Controller magazine – May 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:, 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 40Mb) can be downloaded that can eventually be printed for your members. Alternatively, also offers a printing service. Please visit 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,

Philippe Domogala, IFATCA Editor ad-interim


International Organisations warn against premature conclusions

The aviation community grieves for the tragic loss of lives aboard US-Bangla Flight 211 on 12 March 2018. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those lost, and the survivors who may still have a long road to recovery. We also wish to extend our support to our Nepalese and Bangladeshi colleagues for whom this is undoubtedly a traumatic experience.

In order to learn from such event and prevent any repetition, IFATCA and IFALPA, the International Organisations representing Air Traffic Controllers and Air Line Pilots, stress the need for the technical investigation into the circumstances of this accident to be conducted according to international Standards.

Such investigation should strictly follow the provisions laid out in Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which states that "the sole objective of the investigation of an accident or incident shall be the prevention of accidents and incidents" and that "it is not the purpose of this activity to apportion blame or liability".

Accident investigators should have unrestricted access and control over the evidence to ensure that a detailed examination can take place. Whilst the investigation is ongoing, there should be no disclosure of the accident evidence such as recordings, in order to avoid misinterpretation of the events that occurred.

Premature conclusions, often based on incomplete, inaccurate or speculative information, and focusing on any one aspect of what happened, will only hamper the ability to learn from these tragic events. We urge the media, the public, and the concerned stakeholders to respect the longestablished procedures for analysing these events and let the accident investigation run its course.

IFATCA and IFALPA will closely monitor the investigation to ensure that it is conducted in accordance with the principles described above, and that all efforts are made to prevent the recurrence of such an event.


Summary of 1st Digitisation Workshop available

At the end of January 2018, IFATCA organsised their 1st digitalisation conference. Venue was the press room of @GeneveAeroport. This document offers short summaries of the presentations, captured from various notes. As such, they highlight the main points made by the presenters. The summaries do not necessarily reflect the views of the contributors, as they have been collected by the author of this summary, Marc Baumgartner.To open the presentation, click on the slide - they will be downloaded from an external website (

IFATCA’s Newest Corporate Member: GCAA, United Arab Emirates

The UAE is home to the newest corporate member of the IFATCA community and the General Civil Aviation Authority is proud to be a member of the community.

Joining IFATCA means a lot for the GCAA. It means gaining access to a wealth of information and best practices from around the world, while keeping abreast of issues, trends and challenges related to ATC. As the first member from the Middle-East and GCC (Gulf Cooperative Council) to join IFATCA, the GCAA is also looking forward to contributing and improving global ATC operations by sharing its knowledge and expertise related to its area of activities.

Who are we?

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is both the State Regulator and the service provider for en route air traffic control in the United Arab Emirates. Its mission is to regulate and oversee aviation safety, security and environment, deliver air navigation services and facilitate air connectivity through international collaboration in order to efficiently serve the general public and civil aviation industry. It is responsible for the only area control centre in the UAE, the Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre, where over 100 controllers work in various capacities.

Inaugurated in 2009 and located just minutes away from the Abu Dhabi International Airport, the General Civil Aviation Authority of The United Arab Emirates Centre of Air traffic Control, Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre (SZC) in Abu Dhabi is the busiest and most advanced air traffic control facility in the Middle East. It ranks as one of the elite facilities in the world. It is an en route facility handling international flights arriving, departing and overflying the UAE from all over Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and South America The UAE controls some 120,000 square km (46,332 square miles) of airspace. Of the average of 2,500 daily movements, about 80% are either arriving or departing the UAE while the rest are overflights.

The Middle East is the aviation crossroads of the world and at the core of this nerve centre are the men and women at the Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre. These air traffic controllers are a well-trained individuals of quick thinking, professionally minded, hardworking aviation experts who safely guide thousands of aircraft 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year.

The job of a controller at SZC can be challenging, but the upside is that the employees in the United Arab Emirates live a lifestyle their friends and family can only dream of. The GCAA currently relies on UAE Nationals and experienced controllers from 22 nations to accomplish its mission. If living abroad in a multi-cultural country and being part of a modern and fast-paced ATC organization appeals to you, you may want to consider applying for an ATC position at Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre. Any en route-rated controllers with at least two years’ experience at a busy facility (or approach control-rated with at least five years’ experience) can apply using the following link:

If you are selected you will be offered training as an area controller with a very competitive remuneration package. If you have any questions regarding these positions, write to us at [email protected]

IFATCA Technical Award

Recipients of the IFATCA Technical Award

2017 – NAVCanada NAVCANsuite

2016 – Frequentis

2015 – Imtradex

Read more

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.

— Constitution of IFATCA
Official Seal of The Federation

Our Partners

IFATCA maintains valuable relationships with the ICAO, other aviation industry and professional bodies, and our Corporate Members.



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