October Issue of The Controller


It is our pleasure to present a new issue of The Controller. IFATCA no longer produces a printed version, but makes an electronic magazine freely available on a variety of platforms:

  • Our tablet apps can be downloaded via http://ios.ifatca.org/ and http://android.ifatca.org/ For a small fee, individual issues can be downloaded and read on-the-go when no internet connection is available. A subscription, which gives access to all available issues for one year, is also available. The contribution helps us to finance the development of the applications.


  • Issues can be read online by pointing your browser to http://the-controller.ifatca.org For the best experience, after selecting an issue, we recommend using the full screen option via the toolbar on top of the pages.
  • A PDF version of the latest issue can be downloaded here. Depending on the browser you use, you might have to right click and use 'save as ...' to download the file to your computer.

Enjoy this latest issue of The Controller. If you do, and you think other might as well, feel free to encourage them to subscribe.

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International Day of The Controller


On October 20th, IFATCA invites everyone to join and celebrate the International Day of The Controller. The day coincides with the constitutional meeting of our Federation, held in Amsterdam in 1961. Member Associations around the world organise events for their members and/or a wider audience. It puts our profession, which is still relatively unknown to the general public, in the spotlight.

To help spread the word, IFATCA has designed a flyer, a poster and a video. The flyer can be found here.

The video can be watched here.

Anyone that wants to download the official Day of the Controller 2014 poster, here are the links:

Those are quite large (45Mb). If you want to share just the picture, get a good quality one here.


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New A55 Contact List and 2014 Conference Report


Our office in Montéal has released two documents for the Member Associations:

Both documents require you login as MA in order to view/download them. In case of difficulties, please contact the Office Manager.

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Vale Tinus Olivier


On the 21st July 2014 IFATCA lost a good friend the passing of Tinus Oliver, from South Africa, after a long illness. Tinus was known to many of us from his very active involvement in our South African member association, and his involvement with IFATCA’s TOC and PLC, including as Chairman TOC.  Tinus was instrumental in hosting IFATCA meetings in South Africa and was a valued supporter of IFATCA.

Tinus had a varied and successful career, in the South African Air Force, and then civil ATC in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and also in safety, regulation oversight and management roles. He achieved a lot in lifetime, personally and professionally, and was highly respected by all who knew him.

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Evolving The Controller magazine


It is our pleasure to present the very first electronic issue of The Controller. As announced during our Annual Conference in May, IFATCA will no longer produce a printed version. Instead, our magazine is now freely available on a variety of platforms:

  • The IFATCA website: http://the-controller.ifatca.org, where several of the latest 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.
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Press Release - 53rd Annual Conference


The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Associations (IFATCA), representing over 50,000 controllers in 131 countries, held it’s 53rd annual conference in Gran Canaria, Spain this week. Over 500 delegates, including observers from ICAO, IFALPA, IATA, ITF, Eurocontrol and the SESAR Joint Undertaking, attended the conference.

Four new member associations joined the Federation at this conference. IFATCA welcomes the air traffic associations from Angola, Montenegro, The Maldives and Kazakhstan to the worldwide professional voice of controllers.

A major focus of the conference was Just Culture, highlighting a number of situations around the world where air traffic controllers have been dismissed or sanctioned for speaking out about safety concerns. The conference heard in detail about the situation in the Dominican Republic, where over thirty controllers have lost their jobs. IFATCA Executive Vice President Americas recently visited the Dominican Republic to mediate in talks with Government officials. Controllers are also facing legal action in a number of other countries, such as Albania. IFATCA is also assisting in a long running case in Latvia, which will be taken to the European Court of Human Rights.

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IFATCA 2014 - Final Day


On Friday, Prof. Eric Hollnagel gave a presentation of how Safety thinking is evolving. From his presentation, it was clear that the so-called Safety II (why do things go right?) can bring definite benefits in conjunction with the more traditional, Safety I, approach (Why do things go wrong?)

Member associations then assembled in informal regional meeting to discuss regional issues that MAs face. From these meetings, it remains clear that ATCOs around the world are under continued, and increasing pressures from their management, governments and other parties that appear to place costs and politics above common sense and, in some cases, safety.

After the lunch, IFATCA PCX Alexis Barthwaite reconvened the plenary assembly of the Federation. This assembly formalised the decisions taken in the different committees, by accepting the reports of the Committee Chairmen. A number of appointments needed to be explicitely voted on in plenary session: Patrik Peters (Eurocontrol Guild) takes over from Alexis Brathwaite as President and CEO of the Federation. Taking his place as DP is Scott Shallies (AUS), our former EVP Professional. That post is now filled by Eric Risdon (CH). John Carr's appointment as EVP Americas was confirmed after having taken this position ad-interim for the past months. EVP Europe Željko Oreški continues for another two years to manage IFATCA's largest region.

Immediate Past President Alexis Brathwaite was awarded the IFATCA Scroll of Honour, the highest award Federation can bestow on an individual. Darrell Meachum and Willem Zuidveld were awarded the IFATCA Award of Merit for their outstanding service to the Federation. Several others received an EB award for their services to the association.

Four Member Associations were (re-)accepted as members of the Federation: Angola, Maldives, Montenegro and Kazakhstan. Three members had to be considered for termination by Directors for not fulfilling their obligations to the Federation. The 2015 Annual Conference venue was confirmed to be Sofia, Bulgaria. Our MA from the USA won the bid to host the 2016 event in Las Vegas.

In his closing statement, former President and CEO Alexis Brathwaite stated the Federation was a strong and influential body in the international aviation community. Together with other organisations and associations, it is excellently placed to continue to strive to improve professional, technical and legal conditions for Air Traffic Controllers wordwide.

In his closing remarks, newly appointed President & CEO Patrik Peters thanked the Member Associations and volunteers for their dedicated work for and support of the Federation throughout the year and at this successful Conference. He thanked the Organising Committee and Spanish Member Association USCA for their outstanding organisation of a successful conference.

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IFATCA 2014 - Day 4


Day 4 of the 53rd Annual Conference of IFATCA was dedicated to the committees wrapping up their work. In the administrative committee (A), future venues for the annual conference were debated and voted upon. In addition, nominations for Executive Board members and IFATCA officials were presented and in some cases, voted upon. These will be proposed to the final plenary on Friday for formal approval.

In committees B and C, a number of reports were debated: for B, these included the ATM OPS panel report; unmanned aircraft system study; a study on ADS-B; communication between ATS units; and the work Programme TOC 2014/2015. In addition, the chairman and composition of the Technical and Operations Committee (TOC) was voted upon.

Committee C was given an update on Just Culture; a clarification of sector manning principles; a working paper on ATCO performance was discussed. And as in the other committees, there was a vote on the chairman and member associations for the committee that will prepare the work studies for the next conference.

In the afternoon, the so-called IFATCA panel was held: after a short presentation from 4 guest speakers, a discussion was held on how humans interact with technology. The speakers were:

  • Prof. Eric Hollnagel, Professor, University of Southern Denmark Chief Consultant Center for Quality, RSD (DK)
  • Mr. Frank Brenner, Director General of EUROCONTROL
  • Mr. Chris Dalton, Chief of the ATM Section in ICAO Headquarters, Montréal
  • Mr. Tom Laursen, IFATCA's Safety and Human Factors expert

And to conclude the afternoon, and the day, a workshop was held on Total Balance Management. This is a technique that can easily alleviate stress and that can be tought relatively easily to allow it to be used by 'peers'.

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IFATCA 2014 - Day 3


As day 3 of our Annual Conference draws to a close, it’s time to summarize the activities of the different committees. The joined B & C meeting ended at lunchtime, having made excellent progress through the combined agenda. One of the main topics this morning was on service priority. The committees split again in the afternoon, each dealing with better delignated work items. In committee B, there was discussion on terrain and obstacle clearance responsibilities. Committee C on the other hand discussed industrial relations under ILO conventions; sleep apnea and obesity; and performance targets in ATM.

Committee A discussed a proposal to alleviate the financial pressures of underdeveloped nations so they can remain members of the Federation. Following an interesting discussion, a special task force will formulate a proposal for next year’s confernce. The 2014/15 budget was also scrutinised and approved and a number of officials were nominated. In the afternoon, the committee reconvened in a closed session to discuss problems of individual MAs.

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IFATCA 2014 - Day 2


Highlights of the second day of the 53rd Annual Conference of IFATCA included the joined session of Committees B & C on issues that have technical, professional and legal implications for controllers. Subjects included a review of IFATCA's policies on TCAS and TCAS RA downlink; a study on service priority; and the subject of remote towers. The Directors of both Committees also agreed to update the IFATCA Manual to include definitions on different approaches to Safety, the so-called Safety I and Safety II approach.

In committee A, a number of decision were taken on how IFATCA operates internally. Most significantly, the Siege Social of the Federation will move after 46 years from Geneva (Switzerland) to Montreal (Canada). In addition, plans for the future of our journal - The Controller - were elaborated on: essentially, from the next issue onwards, the magazine will be produced and distributed electronically via different platforms. It will also become a free magazine for everyone who wishes to read it. Lastly, Committee A also discussed a move of the formal seat of the Federation from Switzerland to Canada.

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