Executive Board Meeting January 2020

The IFATCA Executive Board held its first board meeting of 2020 at the EUROCONTROL premises in Brussels, Belgium from 22 jan until 24 jan.


The board discussed the updates from the executive board members, which showed a significant amount of work done in the background by PCX, DP and EVPF to reorganise the Federation's finances and make them more transparent. The board agreed to test an alternative tool to track the Federation's expenses. The new platform will be evaluated, aiming to decide by mid-February on whether to migrate from Concur.

Code of Conduct

Helena Sjöström, Deputy President, updated the board on a revised Code of Conduct. This version 2.0, as proposed by the Equality, Diversity and Ethics TF was approved and will be used during Conference 2020 through an updated leaflet.


During the last Asia/Pacific regional meeting, a group of 4 regional vice presidents were appointed, along ICAO regions. EVP ASP also highlighted a continuing issue on the border of Japan, Korea and China. He also mentioned the issues in Nepal, where splitting the aviation authority would affect the controllers.

Following the lead of Asia/Pacific, Americas appointed regional vice presidents in charge of subregions. Training, staffing and infrastructure main problems in AMA. EVP Americas mentioned that the Argentinian MA is a major drive in the region and acts as a magnet for others.

Fateh Behkti, EVP Africa & Middle-East, updated the board on the situation in Ethiopia, where a number of controllers remain suspended. A letter for the authorities is prepared but IFATCA is awaiting the formal go-ahead of the MA.

Tom Laursen, EVP Europe, highlighted the increasingly prominent role of EUROCONTROL in the region. As indicated before, Tom is not considering another term as EVP Europe but is as of yet undecided on whether to seek another role on the IFATCA EB.

Regional Meetings 2020

Asia/PacificCebu, Philipines22-24 Sep 2020
EuropeMaastricht, the Netherlands7-9 Oct 2020
AmericasTrinidad & Tobago14-16 Oct 2020
Africa & Middle EastMombassa, Kenya11-13 Nov 2020

ATC100 & Conferences

Philippe Domogala, as the chair of the ATC100 Years committee, gave an update on the preparations for the celebration in 2022. As Conference Coordinator, he gave an update on the preparations for the upcoming conferences in Singapore and Jamaica.


The board agreed with a request from the World ATM Congress organisers to provide a moderator for a Fatigue and Wellness panel at the event. Tom Laursen is proposed to take on this task, as he is planned to attend the event. Deputy President, EVP Tech and our Corporate Members Coordinator will also attend, with the former participating in a panel on gender equality.


As an increasing number of MAs are affected by natural disasters, the board decided it is not practical for the Federation to collect and distribute funds in support. Instead, IFATCA will act as a conduit but not as a collector for disaster relief: we will advertise the MAs efforts and encourage other MAs to directly support.

The IFATCA Executive Board is monitoring the outbreak of a coronavirus in China and parts of Asia. During this week's Executive Board meeting, the board decided to discuss the evolution and the consequences of the outbreak during their regular teleconferences as part of the conference planning activities. For the moment, there are no direct or indirect indications that our conference will be affected and we are confident that the Singapore authorities are well equipped to mitigate the outbreak. Should any of this change, we will of course not hesitate to advise our Member Association and to propose the appropriate actions.

In closing, the IFATCA Executive Board would like to thank EUROCONTROL for providing the meeting facilities without cost and for the opportunity to visit the Network Manager's operations room.


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.


IFATCA AFM Regional Meeting in Hammamet, Tunisia - Day 1

The first day of the 30th IFATCA Regional Meeting of the Africa Middle-East Region started with official opening remarks from Mr. Skander Khalfallah, President of the Tunisian Air Traffic Controllers Association - Association Tunisienne des Contrôleurs de la Circulation Aérienne (ATCCA), Mr. Lofti Mhicen, CEO of the Office de l’Aviation Civile et des Aéroports de Tunisie (OACA), Mr. Fateh Bekhti, IFATCA Executive Vice-President Africa Middle East (AFM), Mr. Duncan Alex Auld, President and CEO of IFATCA, and His Excellency Mr. Rene Trabelsi, Minister of Transport and Tourism who officially opened the meeting.

The event then continued with two presentations from the Tunisian CAA (Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC) de la Tunisie), an overview of the air navigation system in Tunisia provided by the national Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), and a presentation of the situation in Tunisia offered by the local Member Association, ATCCA. OACA then presented their training support initiative for the Arab Civil Aviation Organization (ACAO) Member States. All presentations were focused on the need for more comprehensive training in the African region and highlighted regional cooperation as a key enabler for achieving such goal.

In the afternoon, a discussion took place on the many items on the work programme of the Professional and Legal Committee (PLC) and Technical and Operational Committee (TOC) of IFATCA, presented by Mr. Jean-François Lepage, Liaison Officer to the ICAO Air Navigation Commission, and an overview of the IFATCA Equality, Diversity, and Ethics Task Force (EDETF), was presented by Mr. Sverre Ivar Elsbak.

Mr. Peter Van Rooyen, Executive Vice-President Professional, gave an in-depth presentation on the many workshops offered by the Federation. This was followed by a presentation from Mr. Mohamed Smaoui, Regional Deputy Director- ICAO Cairo office in Egypt, joined by representatives from IFALPA and IFATSEA, who shared their experiences and initiatives with regards to training in the aviation industry. Mr. Hennie Marais, Chief Air Traffic Services ATNS South Africa gave an entertaining and thought provoking presentation on the links between training and professionalism in aviation.

The day concluded with presentations from our sponsors: United ATS, and Indra.


The 40th ICAO Assembly

IFATCA’s participation at the big rendezvous to shape the future of aviation

The 40th ICAO Assembly took place last 24 September to 4 October 2019. It was attended by more than 2 400 delegates from around the world, representing 184 of the 193 Member States of ICAO and 55 international organizations, such as ACI, CANSO, IAOPA, IATA, IBAC, ICCAIA, IFALPA, IFATCA, and many more. Interesting to note is the fact that this year, the Assembly coincided with the 75th anniversary of ICAO.

The Assembly is ICAO’s sovereign body; it meets at least once every three years and is convened by the ICAO Council. It is divided into five different commissions: administrative, economic, executive, legal and technical and its primary objective is to determine the direction, budget and work programme of the organization for the next triennium. It is also during the Assembly that Member States are elected to the Council.

IFATCA was represented at the Assembly by a delegation consisting of Mr. Duncan Auld (President and CEO), Mrs. Helena Sjöström (Deputy President), Mr. Ignacio Baca (EVP Technical), Mr. Peter Van Rooyen (EVP Professional), Mr. Jeffrey D. Richards (RPAS Panel Member for IFATCA), Mr. Thom Metzger (The Controller Magazine Editor) and Mr. Jean-François Lepage (IFATCA Liaison Officer to the ICAO Air Navigation Commission).

During its 40th iteration, the Assembly produced and reviewed more than 640 working papers and information papers. IFATCA co-signed five working papers with other industry organizations (ACI, CANSO, IATA, ICCAIA and IFALPA) on topics of mutual interest, such as commercial space operations integration, the need to address harmful interferences to GNSS signals, the need for standards and guidance to mitigate the risks related to unauthorized UAS operations, the future of frequency spectrum needs in aviation and UAS traffic management.

Among the 640 working papers, the main topics covered were: environment-related issues and the CORSIA initiative (62 papers), security and cybersecurity (55 papers), facilitation (40 papers), ATM-related matters (36 papers), economic issues (31 papers), the “No Country Left Behind” (NCLB) initiative (28 papers), safety management (25 papers), flight operations (24 papers), Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) (23 papers) and the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme – Continuous Monitoring Approach (USOAP CMA) (23 papers).

Immediately before the Assembly, the Executive Board gathered for a three-day meeting, also in Montréal. The presence of the entire executive in the city that is home to ICAO was not a coincidence; it was an excellent opportunity for some of the EB members to meet with other international organizations such as IFALPA and ITF, while for others it was the perfect moment to work on logistic and financial issues at the IFATCA office, along with Tatiana, our Office Manager. Meanwhile, our Liaison Officer to the ICAO ANC, Jean-François, was putting the final touch to the interventions drafted by the group for the Assembly and took care of the necessary coordination and arrangements with some of the key industry partners and States present at the event.


IFATCA Americas Regional Meeting in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina - Day 3

The third day of the 36th IFATCA Regional Meeting of the Americas region started with two presentations from Mr. Jean-François Lepage, Liaison Officer to the ICAO Air Navigation Commission. He first gave a detailed overview of the ICAO main bodies and hierarchy, where IFATCA is present in the organization, how Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and Procedures for Air Navigation Services (PANS) are developed, and finally where IFATCA can assist and shape the work of ICAO and ensure the Federation's concerns, challenges and needs are heard.

The second presentation provided the participants with an overview of the many items on the work programme of the Professional and Legal Committee (PLC) and Technical and Operational Committee (TOC).

Following these presentations, Member Associations represented at the meeting (Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, Canada, United States of America, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Costa Rica) presented their report to the audience. Jamaica updated the participants with their preparations for the IFATCA Annual Conference, to be held on the island in May 2021.

The last presentation of the day was a brief overview of IFATCA's Competency-Based Training and Assessment (CBTA) Workshop, presented by Mr. Jean-François Lepage (IFATCA - ICAO).

Mr. John Carr, Executive Vice-President Americas, concluded the meeting with a few closing remarks, thanking ATEPSA for their dedication organizing the event, and wished all air traffic controllers an excellent International Air Traffic Controllers Day, on this 20th October 2019.


IFATCA Americas Regional Meeting in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina - Day 2

The second day of the 36th IFATCA Regional Meeting of the Americas region started opening remarks by Mr. Jonathan Doino, General Secretary for ATEPSA. He highlighted the importance for his association to be part of ITF and also the importance for air traffic controllers to be well represented at ICAO. He also emphasized the need for effective cooperation between all stakeholders, namely IFATCA and ITF, because we are stronger together.

From left to right: Mr. Edgardo Llano, Secretary General - Asociación del Personal Aeronáutico Argentina, Mr. Jonathan Doino, Secretary General - ATEPSA, Mrs. Dina Feller, Civil Aviation Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean (ITF).

Following this address, ATEPSA invited all Member Associations present at the meeting for a flag exchange ceremony. ATEPSA thanked all the attendees and welcomed all participants to Argentina. While there are several challenges to tackle in the region, ATEPSA is confident that with the help of IFATCA, a lot of work can be done and solutions can be found.

From left to right: Martin (Córdoba, Argentina), Danila (Mendoza, Argentina), Wilton (Asunción, Paraguay) and Rossana (Montevideo, Uruguay).

A panel of four controllers from the South American region gave an overview of the activities taking place in their respective Association. The group explained how they interact at the regional level and how important this cooperation is for South America. They stressed that it is paramount to raise awareness and interest among the membership of controllers for them to get involved within their organization.

The afternoon was dedicated to a presentation made by Mr. Mick Devine (Regional Vice-President, NATCA - USA) on the "Stop and Go Funding" issues in the United States, the state of the US NAS and NATCA's strategy to tackle this important issue.


IFATCA Americas Regional Meeting in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina - Day 1

The 36th IFATCA Regional Meeting of the Americas region started this morning at 9:30AM. Mr. John Carr, Executive Vice-President Americas, offered some opening remarks to the participants, followed by the organizing committee from ATEPSA addressing the audience. The meeting continued with a brief overview of IFATCA's activities in ICAO and a summary of the recent ICAO 40th triennal Assembly highlights, presented by Mr. Jean-François Lepage, Liaison Officer to the ICAO Air Navigation Commission.

The rest of the day was dedicated to two presentations of great interest. The first presenter, Mr. Steven Hansen (NATCA, USA) presented the Just Culture model developed and used in the United States: ATSAP (Air Traffic Safety Action Programme). The second presenter, Mrs. Emilce Molina (ATEPSA, Argentina) gave an overview of the GEFLA programme, related to innovative strategies to optimize human resources and relationships between air traffic controllers and pilots.

Mrs. Emilce Molina, ATCO Aeroparque (Buenos Aires)


IFATCA European Regional Meeting in Aqaba, Jordan - Day 2

On its second day, the IFATCA European Regional Meeting in Aqaba discussed controller training in Europe. According to ICAO, there will be a need to train and validate an extra 23 500 controllers in the next 20 years to fulfil vacancies created by retirements and cope with traffic increase forecast. The training organization GLOBAL ATS of Denmark explained that with the new young generation, we need to adapt training to them if we want to succeed.

Then Iacopo Prissinotti, the new Eurocontrol Network manager, told the meeting that despite an increase in traffic of 1,3 %, the average delay decreased by 10% in 2019 so far, but at 1,8 min per fight, it remained well above expectations.

He advocated more discipline in the network, especially regarding flight plan adherence.

Finally Helena Sjöström, IFATCA Deputy President, promoted her newly created Equality, Diversity and Ethics Task Force (EDETF).

Iacopo Prissinotti, EUROCONTROL Network Manager


IFATCA European Regional Meeting in Aqaba, Jordan - Day 1

The ERM started in the Jordan town of Aqaba and was opened by the CEO of the Jordan CAA who welcomed around 100 delegates representing 32 European Associations. The ERM was preceeded by a meering of the representatives working for SESAR and a workshop.

Mustafa Abu Farah, chairman of JATCA,
Captain Haitham Misto, CEO of Jordan CAA and
Tom Laursen opening the ERM

During the day a large part of the discussions were concentrating around Just Culture and its effects on Europeans controllers after the Swiss judiciary guilty verdicts imposed on Controllers after incidents.

The representative of Switzerland controllers gave a long briefing of the status of the situation and IFATCA EVP Europe detailed the actions the meeting will be taking, which will include a presentation at the next ICAO EASPG Meeting and information papers on this subject.


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