In normal circumstances, the IFATCA family would be gathering in Singapore at this moment for our 2020 Annual Conference. Unfortunately, over the past months and weeks, the world has dramatically changed from being very well connected to one of isolation. Instead of travelling to and from all corners of the world, many can not even visit their close relatives and friends.
Aviation is one of the most affected industries, with many airlines having grounded their fleet. At the same time, it is worth noting that our profession continues to play a crucial role in bringing medical supplies to the regions where they are most needed.
There’s no doubt that the world will overcome this challenge. What is not yet clear, is what the long term effects on our industry, the economy and society overall will be. But there is no doubt that aviation professionals, including air traffic controllers, will continue to play a crucial role in recovering from this global crisis.
In the meantime, our priorities as professionals should be:
- To ensure the safest possible circumstances for air traffic controllers worldwide.
- To guarantee the continuity of the service given the vital role in combating this crisis.
- To counteract the possible long-term effects of this crisis, including the ability to revert when demand increases again.
Short term thinking and exclusive focus on economics have dearly cost our industry in the past. Drastic cutbacks now will make long-term recovery a lot more complicated and uncertain. It is an essential message that IFATCA and other staff representatives must bring to those in charge.
Our strongest assets as controllers are our flexibility and resilience. These will be tested to the fullest in the coming weeks and months, as will be our professionalism and motivation. This health crisis impacts each one of us, as do the measures to combat it. IFATCA, its Executive Board and Member Associations will do their utmost to support each one of you in maintaining the necessary focus.
We can and we will get through this. With communication, cooperation, and collaboration we have always helped each other in the best of times and the worst of times.
Let us continue to work together to help each other as our founding associations envisioned.
We are IFATCA, we are strong and we will recover.
One Sky, One Voice, Since 1961.
IFATCA President and CEO
Over the coming days and weeks, we will be adding information and resources to the IFATCA website. More sensitive information will most likely end up in the member-only section. While this is a global pandemic, we ask Member Associations to coordinate through their Regional Vice Presidents.