International Women's Day 2020

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

Despite the public perception of the job as a predominantly male profession, a growing number of women have begun a rewarding career as an air traffic controller over the past decades. While it does require specific skills, these are not directly related to gender. The air traffic control community consists of an extremely diverse mix of people, in which women deserve to be proportionally represented. Though demanding at times, the job of an air traffic controller is very gratifying and generally well compensated in both salary and time off.

International Women’s Day is the perfect opportunity to recognise that women have an essential role in aviation and air traffic control. The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations, IFATCA, actively encourages employers and lawmakers to ensure an equal opportunity environment exists in recruitment, training and career opportunities.


New Issue of The Controller

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.
  • Mobile Devices (tablets): We use for the best experience on mobile devices. The app, which allows you to read The Controller offline on your tablet can be downloaded via, and Best of all, the issues are now available for free - look for IFATCA once you've started the app.
  • PDF Version: download the pdf version of the latest issue. This file is about 5Mb in size and requires a PDF viewer to be able to read it. A higher quality version is available via this link (50Mb).
  • For Member Associations: a print-ready PDF version (about 50Mb) 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 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 magazineand/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, IFATCA Editorial Team


Building up to 100 Years ATC in 2022...

Today, 100 years ago, the UK Air Ministry commissioned an “Aerodrome Control Tower” to be built in Croydon, 15 feet above the ground. It is widely accepted to be the first elevated ATC structure in the world – initially for observations, but gradually for giving information and instructions to aircraft operating to/from Croydon.


IFATCA EU 373/2017 Regulation Workshop

On the initiative of our Lithuanian and Latvian air traffic controllers’ associations, IFATCA held a workshop on the implementation of EU regulation 373/2017 at Oro Navigacija in Vilnius, Lithuania from the 6-7th of January.

The workshop was a mix of presentations and group work with participants from Poland, Rumania, Ireland, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, Lithuania and Eurocontrol. Fatigue, rostering, stress, CISM and the testing of psychoactive substance were among the topics discussed.

For more details on the regulation and its impact, IFATCA published a checklist for Member Associations to verify their ANSP/Country's compliance with European Regulation 2017/373 on stress, fatigue and psychoactive substances. While obviously most relevant to European associations, it may be of use to others to crosscheck how they are doing in respect to this regulation.


International Civil Aviation Day

Every time I fly, I am still amazed by the miracle that is aviation. Strapped into a seat on a several hundred-tonne machine, it powers forward and slowly moves away from the earth, the only realm of humanity for millennia. This was only a dream of great minds for centuries. The aircraft defies gravity and crosses land, mountains, seas, and international boundaries, in a matter of hours connecting people from every corner of the globe.

Saturday, December 7 is International Civil Aviation Day, a brief yet relevant reminder of all we have achieved over the past century.

Since the early 1920s, air traffic control has developed as an integral part of the aviation community, building what is undoubtedly one of the most complex systems in the world. An often unseen and under-represented part of the industry, it has been at the core of the exponential growth of the aviation industry. We are soon to celebrate 100 years of air traffic control in 2022, a fitting time to look how far we have come, but also to forge the road ahead.

On a similar note, ICAO is turning 75 this year. For the last three-quarters of a century, they have consistently been a symbol of unity and direction. This United Nations Organisation has been the corner-store of international aviation standards. Without their leadership and guidance, it is difficult to imagine where we would be now.

Air traffic is predicted to double over the next 15 years and we already face a critical shortage of aviation professionals. We urgently need to recruit a young and diverse future workforce to continue the innovation and development of our industry so it can cope with the challenges of the future. Society is changing fast, let us embrace generational change and adapt to the modern world in ways we have never imagined.

We often hear that aviation is the safest form of transport and statistically, it is true but this is no reason for complacency. We have many challenges ahead as the industry will evolve at a rate not experienced before. We must be innovative, flexible, and creative. Now is our time to shine.

As I board another flight tomorrow, I will take a moment to recognise all the people, the millions of people over the years, that have made aviation the amazing achievement that we see today.

Happy International Civil Aviation Day.

Duncan Auld
IFATCA President & CEO


IFATCA & IFALPA highlight concerns on Just Culture

The first ICAO European Aviation System Planning Group (EASPG) is currently being held in Paris, France. Our EVP Europe, Tom Laursen, presented a joint IFATCA-IFALPA paper on the effects of criminalisation of incidents in the context of Safety Culture. The paper and its conclusions were supported by many Sates representatives and the meeting plans to adapt the detailed conclusions into firm recommendations.

The ICAO EUR office also suggested that they should start workshops on this. It's another important initiative taken by IFALPA and IFATCA to try to advance Just Culture in aviation as a means to improve safety.

The report can be found here.


IFATCA Asia/Pacific Regional Meeting in Nepal

The 36th IFATCA Asia/Pacific Regional Meeting was held from 21 to 23 November 2019 in the Aloft Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal. This event was organised by the Nepal Air Traffic Controllers’ Association and supported by more than 60 aviation entities. It was a highly attended regional meeting, with 14 Member Associations present. Another three had given proxies, meaning that only two associations from the region were not represented.

It was the third IFATCA gathering in Nepal, after the first regional meeting in 2004 and the annual Conference in 2012.

Apart from a number of highly appreciated presentations and discussions (see, four regional Vice-Presidents were elected to assist EVP ASP: Cheryl Yen-Chun Chen, Taiwan (North-Asia); Niranjan Dallakoti, Nepal (South-West Asia); Greg Okeroa, New Zealand (Pacific); and Rudy S. Boctot Jr, Philippines (South-East Asia).

The next Asia/Pacific Regional Meeting will be held in Cebu, the Philippines.

Think Safety - Sofia, Bulgaria

The workshop participants in Sofia, Bulgaria

Last week, IFATCA held its 11th Think Safety workshop. The course was coordinated by the Bulgarian Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations and sponsored by the Bulgarian Air Navigation Service Provider (BULATSA). It was organised at the Novotel Sofia airport Hotel. The course brought together different stakeholders from the Bulgarian service provider – different departments, including people from their legal department. Staff from the Bulgarian Civil Aviation Authority also participated.

left to right: Tom Laursen, Alfred Vlasek and Anthony Smoker

The course, or rather the interactive workshop, was facilitated by Anthony Smoker (UK), Tom Laursen (DK) and Alfred Vlasek (AT). The participants had the opportunity to improve their understanding of safety and investigation processes, and especially on how these interact with a just culture.


IFATCA AFM Regional Meeting in Hammamet, Tunisia - Day 3

The third and last day of the 30th IFATCA Regional Meeting of the Africa Middle-East Region started with the closed session for Member Associations. The meeting adopted the agenda for the 30th AFM RM and accepted the report from the 29th meeting in Abuja, Nigeria (2018).

Mr. Duncan Auld, President and CEO of IFATCA, then presented an update on the upcoming Conference to be held in Singapore in March 2020. He discussed the ongoing preparations, registration process and visas. Mr Auld continued with an update on the Federation's budget and the adjustments that were made by the Executive Board since the Conference in Conchal, Costa Rica, in order to meet the requirements set by the Directors at Conference.

Mr. Wickel Yannick Elidjé (Côte d'Ivoire) presented the conclusions of a survey conducted within the AFM Region to find out what were the main issues and challenges of the Member Associations.

Mr. Walter Litto Mashaba (South Africa) introduced the problems caused by the lack of a SSR codes allocation scheme in Africa, and proposed certain solutions as a way forward.

Mrs. Nadia Bomowongo (Democratic Republic of the Congo) summarized the challenge of ICAO language proficiency in the region and walked the participants through a review of the current situation in Africa.

Mr. Ahmad Abba then provided the participants with an excellent presentation on the current status of the Safety and Just Culture in the AFM region.

Finally, the Kenyan Member Association presented an offer to host the 2020 AFM Regional Meeting in Mombasa, Kenya. The offer was accepted by the meeting.

The meeting was officially concluded by Mr. Habib Makki, Director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Tunisia, Mr. Skander Khalfallah, Secretary General of the Tunisian Association – Association Tunisienne des Contrôleurs de la Circulation Aérienne (ATCCA), and Mr. Duncan Auld, President and CEO of IFATCA.


IFATCA AFM Regional Meeting in Hammamet, Tunisia - Day 2

The second day of the 30th IFATCA Regional Meeting of the Africa Middle-East Region started with a workshop on the Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) provisions that will become applicable next year, on 5 November 2020.

Mr. Mohamed Smaoui, Regional Deputy Director- ICAO Cairo office in Egypt, gave a detailed overview of the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) contained in Annex 11, paragraph 2.28, and Appendices 5 and 6. Mr Duncan Auld, President and CEO stressed the need for FRMS to be supported by a robust safety oversight system. Mr. Jehad Feqir (IATA) presented the FRMS strategy from the airline perspective.

A panel of experts from different fields in aviation then interacted with the audience and discussed the implementation of FRMS in the region. The panel was moderated by Mr. Mohamed Smaoui (ICAO-MID, Cairo, Egypt), and was composed of Mr. Jehad Feqir (IATA), Mr. Mohamed Rejeb (ACAO), Dr. Hanéne Djmail (CEMEDA), Cptn. Souhaiel Dallel (IFALPA), Mr. Duncan Auld (IFATCA), Mr. Fateh Bekhti (IFATCA) and Mr. Jean-François Lepage (IFATCA).

The afternoon was dedicated to a joint IFATCA-ITF workshop: Working Together - Conflict Management and Resolutions, animated by Mr. Mohamed Dauda Safiyanu (Africa Regional Secretary - ITF) and Mr. Fateh Bekhti, Executive Vice-President Africa Middle-East.


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