Page 1


APRIL 2019

Journal of Air Traffic Control

FOCUS ON haiti ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: z Updates from IFATCA Regional Meetings z ATC Was Big Part of U.S. Government Shutdown Story z Flying VFR in France



controlthat thattowers towers ITITcontrol abovethe therest rest above

Fromthe theANSP ANSPtotothe thecontroller controllertotothe the From technician,everyone’s everyone’sbetter betteroffoffwith withKVM. KVM. technician, For service provider, KVM adds flexibility For thethe service provider, KVM adds flexibility infrastructure. It enables emergency worktoto IT IT infrastructure. It enables emergency workarounds, improves workflows, adds reliability arounds, improves workflows, adds reliability redundancy concepts and provides toto redundancy concepts and provides continuous, uninterrupted availability. continuous, uninterrupted IT IT availability. ATCOs enjoy computer-free environment. ATCOs enjoy aa computer-free environment. Moving computers central location Moving thethe computers toto aa central location creates less noise, less heat and more space creates less noise, less heat and more space toto create better working conditions control create better working conditions inin thethe control room. And system’s more reliable too! room. And thethe system’s more reliable too!

WithKVM, KVM,technicians technicianscan canaccess accessseveral several With systemsfrom froma arange rangeofoflocations locations- not - notjust just systems theirworkplace. workplace.Administration Administrationis ismade made their easierand andmaintenance maintenancetoo: too:the thecomputers computers easier arestored storedcentrally centrallysosononomore morecrawling crawling are underdesks. desks.There’s There’salso alsomore moretime timeforfor under maintenancebecause becauseATCOs ATCOscan canbebesimply simply maintenance switchedtotoa aback-up back-upsystem systemwhenever whenever switched it’s required. it’s required. Foroptimum optimumIT ITsystem systemcontrol, control,improved improved For workingconditions conditionsand andincreased increasedsystem system working safety,there’s there’sonly onlyone oneall-round all-roundanswer answer– – safety, KVMfrom fromG&D. G&D. KVM



APRIL 2019 Volume 58 Issue 1 – ISSN 0010-8073

Cover photo: The "temporary" control tower at Toussaint Louverture International Airport (IATA: PAP, ICAO: MTPP). The airport is located in Tabarre, outside Port-au-Prince, the capital and largest city in Haiti. It has international and domestic terminals and serves an average of nearly 1.9 million passengers per year. Photo by Philippe Domogala

EXECUTIVE BOARD OF IFATCA Duncan Auld Ad-Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Ignacio Baca Executive Vice-President Technical

Peter Van Rooyen Executive Vice-President Professional

Jean-François Lepage ICAO ANC Representative

Fateh Bekhti Executive Vice-President Africa and Middle East John Carr Executive Vice-President Americas Mike O'Neill Executive Vice-President Asia and Pacific Tom Laursen Executive Vice-President Europe

In this issue

Forward..............................Working Together Is Key to Overcoming Crisis...............................................4 IFATCA Deeply Concerned About Negative Effects of Judicial Decisions....5 Focus on Haiti...................ATC in Haiti...........................................................................................................6 The Port-au-Prince "Temporary Tower".............................................................8 An Interview with Valery Dupont, President of APCAH..................................10 An Interview with Jean Daniel Descollines from Haiti Ministry of Transport & Olivier Philip Jean of OFNAC....................................11 Americas........................... ATC in the Dominican Republic: A Sad Story...................................................12 IFATCA's 35th Americas Regional Meeting Took Place in Haiti.....................14 Controller Under House Arrest in Bolivia..........................................................15 ATC Was Big Part of U.S. Government Shutdown Story.................................16 Canadian Controllers and Pizza Goodwill.........................................................18 International Air Traffic Control Solidarity........................................................19 Africa & Middle East.........IFATCA's 29th Africa & Middle East Regional Meeting Took Place in Nigeria............................................................................22 Europe............................... IFATCA's European Regional Meeting Took Place in Ireland..........................24 VFR Flying in France........................................................................................... 26 GATCO Organises UK Pilot-Controllers Symposium........................................ 28 Opinion..............................ATM for Tiltrotors: Questions and Answers...................................................... .30 Corporate Member Feature.............................. Drone Up! We Are Ready..................................................................................... 32 Advanced HRMS Solutions Tailored for ANSPs............................................... 33 Charlie's Column............................................................................................................................................... 34

PUBLISHER IFATCA, International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers‘ Associations 360, St Jacques · Suite 2002 Montreal, Quebec · H2Y 1P5 · CANADA Phone: +1514 866 7040 Fax: +1514 866 7612 Email:


REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Philippe Domogala and Philip Marien COPY EDITORS Brent Cash, David Guerin, Rosemary Kyalo, Jez Pigden, Paul Robinson, Alasdair Shaw & Helena Sjöström

SOCIAL MEDIA Meagan Roper DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this magazine are those of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA) only when so indicated. Other views will be those of individual members or contributors concerned and will not necessarily be those of IFATCA, except where indicated. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is correct, IFATCA makes no warranty, express or implied, as to the nature or accuracy of the information. Further distribution of this publication is permitted and even encouraged, as long as it is not altered in any way or manner. No part or extracts of this publication may be reproduced, stored or used in any form or by any means, without the specific prior permission of the IFATCA Executive Board or Editor, except where indicated (e.g. a creative commons licence). The editorial team endeavours to include all owner information, or at least source information for the images used in this issue. If you believe that an image was used without permission, please contact the editor via




WORKING TOGETHER IS KEY TO OVERCOMING CRISIS z by Duncan auld, ad-interim IFATCA President & CEO As you have undoubtedly heard through other channels, recent events have required me to spend some time on internal matters for our Federation. In past months, an increasing number of issues, both personal and professional, distracted our President and CEO Patrik Peters from IFATCA's core business. As a result, he decided to step down. We respect his decision. For those who worked closely with him, this decision confirms what we knew: The interests of the Federation were his primary concern throughout his tenure. Faced with seeing those interests compromised, he chose to step down. Of course, there will be some consequences of this decision, both personally and for the Federation. But one cannot fault him for taking this painful, yet necessary step back. He put many years of hard work and dedication into the Federation. Let us not forget that. The IFATCA Executive Board thanks Patrik explicitly for his longstanding dedication to the Federation and wishes him well in his future endeavours. While this is an obvious setback for the Federation, it is nothing compared to the crisis that our profession currently faces: it appears to be stumbling into a staffing crisis once more. Alarming reports suggest that over the next years, some 40,000 controllers are needed around the world. If predictions are to be believed, Europe is gearing up for long delays this summer after several ANSPs cut back training in response to pressure to reduce costs. Other reports suggest that some authorities are taking shortcuts in training that are detrimental to safety. The CEO of Ryanair recently argued that training for controllers should be done in 6 months or less, as the job is not a complicated process. We would argue the same for CEO.


At the same time, we see signs that regulators are failing to oversee developments in our industry. Under tremendous pressure from commercial companies and often faced with budget constraints, it appears that many authorities are out of their depth when it comes to overseeing new developments. In other cases, there may be an unhealthy conflict of interest when experts from service providers are deployed as regulation experts. For the proper regulation of aviation to be effective, the regulatory personnel must be sufficiently qualified, appropriately trained, and supported by effective enforcement measures. Especially with the strong push for technology to help solve these staffing issues, adequate regulation and oversight will be essential to ensure no shortcuts are z Photo: Duncan Auld , ad-interim IFATCA PCX & CEO taken. Challenges like single is maintained between technology and man sectors, combining responsibilities humans to ensure the most productive (concurrently managing several airports output. remotely for example), unmanned operations, and the like will need to All of these issues need to be addressed, be scrutinised so that they do not so we don't lose the safety improvements compromise safety. that were made over the past decades. If not, the push for lower costs will become Many regulators believe that developing detrimental to the aviation industry and its performance indicators encourages potential. IFATCA and other professional self-regulation. Unfortunately, not all associations have an essential role to play indicators are well-developed. Financial in this process. Our entire industry must indicators are better defined and easier to come together as a team to maintain a measure than safety indicators, which are safe, efficient, and sustainable air traffic often pseudo or indirect indicators. management system for the future. y Our industry is under pressure from all sides. Additional constraints, such as the environmental footprint of aviation will put further strain on the system. It is also critical that an effective balance



IFATCA DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF JUDICIAL DECISIONS z by thom Metzger, NATCA & EDITOR OF THE CONTROLLER MAGAZINE In March 2019, another court in Switzerland found an air traffic controller guilty of negligent disruption of public transport. In this most recent case, the controller was convited for his involvement in an incident that occurred at Zurich Airport in August 2012. The incident involved a commercial aircraft operated by Darwin Airline and a private aircraft on a training flight. With this incident, no one was injured, neither plane was damaged, and no ground infrastructure was affected. In April and December 2018, two Swiss air traffic controllers were convicted by the Swiss Federal Penal Court and by the Cantonal Court of Zurich respectively for similar operational incidents. Also with these earlier cases, no one was injured in either event, nor was there any damage sustained to any of the involved aircraft or to ground infrastructure. Switzerland remains one of the few states that deviates from international standards and recommendations – including those in the Annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation – when it comes to using safety reports to trigger court cases. The Swiss claim that their judicial system, is required by a 1942 penal code to handle such cases in this manner. The global aviation community has been unified in criticising these convictions, saying they do nothing to improve aviation safety. In fact, international controller and pilot organisations have said such decisions could make air transport less safe in and over Switzerland. International controller and pilot organisations have called for the Swiss government to conduct an urgent review of their laws to bring them in line with Resolutions 38-3 and 38-4 of the

General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. In a press release, the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations (IFATCA) and the European Cockpit Association (ECA) expressed their extreme disappointment in learning about the 2018 convictions of two air traffic controllers in Switzerland. The IFATCA and ECA press release stated, "Aviation is the safest mode of transport, and accidents are extremely rare. This is thanks to the continuous effort to learn from incidents where the stringent aviation standards may not have been met. A ‘Just Culture’ is one where aviation professionals, including pilots and air traffic controllers, are encouraged to report issues relevant to safety without undue fear of punishment. This makes the aviation system safer. Despite drastic increases in traffic, safety levels have continued to improve to the level the flying public enjoys today. "Aviation, and in particular air traffic control, is a complex industry where the frontend operator is working as an integral part of the system, interacting in teams with systems and procedures. These complex systems are extremely resilient and do not fail only because of one element of the system, it is the system that fails, not the individual. "Lengthy and costly court cases do not improve aviation safety, nor do they contribute to the robustness of complex systems. They create a climate of fear amongst aviation professionals and result in a reluctance to submit reports. The opportunity to learn from these events is therefore severely compromised. Just Culture is not a carte

blanche for aviation professionals, including air traffic controllers. It is an essential cornerstone that allows aviation professionals to actively engage in the process of improving safety." In news stories about this latest conviction, the Skyguide air navigation service provider stated, “Skyguide regrets this latest conviction of one of its air traffic controllers. Safety is skyguide’s top priority. In order to ensure this, the safety culture practised at skyguide is crucial,” it said, “This ‘just culture’ is designed to ensure that mistakes that are neither intentional nor grossly negligent are not subject to disciplinary sanctions. Skyguide is committed to this ‘just culture’. In this way, the organisation can learn quickly from mistakes and take measures to avoid them in the future. This leads to greater safety in Swiss airspace for all users.” Skyguide said it would stand behind and continue to support the convicted air traffic controller. “His employment at skyguide is not called into question by the conviction,” it added. IFATCA & ECA urgently call upon Switzerland to align with other States and International standards, to incorporate the principles of Just Culture into their legal system in order to provide for a balanced approach between safety and the administration of justice. y


ATC IN HAITI zThe control tower in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

z by Philippe Domogala, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, IFATCA A 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the nation of Haiti in January 2010. Fortunately, no controller lost their life during the quake. But years later, controllers there still feel the direct effects through the destruction of the control tower at the airport of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. Port-au-Prince Aérodrome Control A week after the earthquake in 2010 in Haiti, the Haitian government was able to resume operations at the Aérodrome in Port-au-Prince, after an emergency tower was donated and delivered to the airport by the U.S. The problem is that this emergency tower still is in operation today. (See separate article on page 8 about this temporary tower.) At the moment, they have between 60 and 70 movements per day on a single runway with no parallel taxi way, meaning everyone has to backtrack. The turnaround between arrivals can take up to seven minutes. Most of the daily flights to Haiti are from the U.S. (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and New York) and operated by American Airlines and Delta. There


are a limited number of other flights to Haiti from France, Canada, Panama, and Martinique. Control is done from a single position in the tower (there is no place for an additional position) and using a single frequency for approach, tower, and ground. Until recently, there was no ILS, but a new one has been installed and should be operational in 2019. Currently, only RNP and visual approaches are made. “GNSS saved us,” said the supervisor on duty during our visit. “The vast majority use it; although, sometimes either the aircraft is not equipped, or it is, but the crew is not certified. But that is rather the exception.” The airport is open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. local time, but air traffic control service is 24/7, and a night team

remains in the tower at night for emergencies, prior permission required (PPR) outside hours, and exceptional flights. There has been no “local pressure” to operate outside normal hours as Haiti has only a small local airline, Sunrise Airways, which operate a small fleet of Jetstream 31 commuter aircraft to neighbouring airports during day time, and other operations are mostly VFR. There is absolutely no automation whatsoever in the tower. Arrival and departure strips are written by hand. All details are obtained by telephone. Air Traffic Control Centre The Control Centre is located in the administration building on the airport. Forty controllers are working there pro-



z Photos: (top/left) Administrative building hosting the Port-au-Prince, Haiti ACC, (top/right) the procedural ops room for ACC in Haiti cedurally with strips and no radar. They have around 100 movements per day in their flight information region (FIR). Outside of Port-au-Prince, there is only one additional international airport in the country in Cap-HaĂŻtien, which is mostly used by VFR and occasionally an IFR. The VHF Omni-directional Range (VOR) radio navigation system there is not working.

Coordination with their neighbours is good. Cuban controllers are normally very flexible. Haiti often needs to deviate in Cuban airspace when thunderstorms block normal routes. The Cubans have radar and can help. SAR (Search and Rescue) As much as the tower and ACC are old and need replacement, the search and

rescue centre (RCC) in Port-au-Prince is brand new, with very modern equipment. Large LED screens displaying all the traffic (thanks to FR24), the weather, winds and tides, etc. Director Hantz CĂŠlestin explains that fortunately there were no aircraft accidents in the last 10 years, so most of his work is locating small ships that get into trouble. y

All photos: Philippe Domogala

z Photos: (bottom/left) SAR sector at ACC in Haiti, (bottom/right) SAR Director Hantz Celestin






z by Philippe Domogala, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, IFATCA The former control tower at Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Portau-Prince, Haiti, was seriously damaged during the earthquake of January 12, 2010, and could not be used. To allow relief aircraft to land there, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave the airport a temporary emergency tower. The temporary tower – basically a trailer on wheels with a small cabin on top with basic, but complete equipment – had been used after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005. Within a week after the earthquake, the FAA chartered a Russian Antonov 124 from Polet Airlines to collect the emer-


gency tower from Homestead Air Force Reserve base in Florida and fly it to Portau-Prince. The Antonov 124 is the only aircraft able to carry a tower this size in one piece. It had only been moved by a truck inside the U.S. This gift was a most welcome gesture from the U.S. It was really helpful to the Haitian people that relief aircraft were able to bring aid after the earthquake. The problem is that this tower – designed only to be used for temporary relief – subsequently has been put on six containers and still is in use nine years later.

The temporary tower is in a terrible state. Some steps on the wooden stairs are missing, and its floor made of plywood is rotting away. (See photos.) The entire structure is not very stable. As someone climbs the stairs, the whole tower trembles. One controller said, “When the Amerijet Boeing 767 is parked in the nearby cargo area and starts its engines, you feel the whole tower move!” Controllers there fear getting hurt if the rotten wood floor or stairs give away some day. Inside the tower, it is not much better. Its window panes are covered with rust. Its glass windows are blurred due excessive UV over the years. The roof lamps are




All photos: Philippe Domogala

z Photos: (top/left) The Antonov 124 that delivered the TWR cab in January 2010, (top/right) the rotting floor of the TWR, (bottom/left) the broken steps on the stairs to the TWR, (bottom/right) the obstructed view of Runway threshold 10; the old state of inside the TWR long broken and have not been replaced. They also have no rest facilities, so controllers have to walk (or drive) to the ACC building 400 meters away to take a break. Space is very limited, and visibility from the tower is poor. While sitting down, one cannot see the threshold of Runway 10 (the preferential one), but even if you stand up, visibility is obscured by antennas and other bits on the roof. A controller states, “When an Antonov 124 lands at the airport, the cockpit is at the same height as we are!” (See photo.) Also because of


reflections, when using the telephone VCS screen, a controller has to put his hand in and to press the right spot to see who is calling. Traffic has been increasing steadily at Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince in recent years, so continuing to work with this control tower is a real safety risk, both for the controllers at the airport and the aviation personnel and passengers on any flight landing there.

Representatives of the Haitian government stated that a replacement tower has been planned for a few years. While the design is complete, and the contract is signed, the Haitian government has not released the funds. It is high time that the construction of the new tower start to allow safe operations in the future at Haiti’s major international airport. y



INTERVIEW Valery Dupont, President Haiti Air Traffic Controller Association (APCAH)

z by Philippe Domogala, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, IFATCA are now asked to reduce separation to 20 nautical miles from currently 10 minutes without any visualisation tools showing us where the traffic is. They tell us we are going to have radar soon, but I have been in this business for 16 years, and every year, I hear it is for tomorrow, but it never comes!

The Controller: What does the future looks like in your view?

dupont: For two years, we have had a

new DG that wants things to change, but the government is blocking change. For a year, we have had everything ready, contracts drafted, etc. for a new tower, new ACC, new radar, but there is no funding. It is blocked at the state level.

The Controller: Don’t you have a voice as an Association to influence the government? dupont: You know, in Haiti, there is a

Photo: Philippe Domogala

z Photo: Valery Dupont

The Controller: From your perspective, what are the real problems of controllers today in Haiti? Valery Dupont: Our main problem and challenge is to find the right balance in order to put the Haitian controllers at ease with themselves. Let me explain. You know, in Haiti, we are not treated like the other controllers in the region, despite doing the same job. Our equipment and facilities are old. In addition, the economic situation of the country is reducing our salaries every day. Our national currency, the Gourde, has depreciated itself against the U.S. dollar tremendously since the beginning of 2018. As most goods and prices in Haiti are in U.S. dollars, we de facto lost 50 percent of our salaries. In January 2018, you needed 50 Gourdes to


buy a U.S. dollar. As of March 2019, you need almost 83 Gourdes to buy a U.S. dollar! The controllers do not feel at ease at all with this situation.

The Controller: What is the average salary of the Haitian controllers today?

saying, “If it is not an urgent issue, it is not a problem.” We controllers are not integrated in the decision process. They follow the advice of some “experts,” which are often disconnected from reality and from today’s issues. But we are pushing hard to have our voice heard! y

dupont: Today, it is around 1,000 U.S.

dollars a month. It has become very difficult to live on this salary.

The Controller: Are there other technical


dupont: Of course, we have the control tower problem, which was supposed to be temporary. Nine years later, we are still in it! It is in a terrible state, as you have seen. Another issue is that in the ACC we



INTERVIEW Jean Daniel Descollines, Haiti Ministry of Transport Representative Olivier Philip Jean, Director General of OFNAC

z by Philippe Domogala, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, IFATCA The Controller: What are the problems in Haiti regarding civil aviation? JD Decollines: The problems are various in nature, and they are many! If we only take the level of compliance with ICAO to give you an example, if 100 would be full compliance, we have our direct neighbours, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Cuba at around 90 percent, and we are between 5 and 7 percent. This figure is of course due in greater part to the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, but we are working hard to fill the gap and reverse the tendency. We have numerous investment plans and the first benefits should be seen in 2019. Olivier Jean: To be fair, his low figure

was measured by ICAO right after the earthquake, and a lot of improvements have been made since, but those have not yet been audited. If an audit was done today, we would probably be around 40 percent. But nevertheless, you see there is still a lot of work to be done. When I started this job as Director General two years ago, I said, “We can only go up from here.”

The Controller: How are the relations with the controllers? olivier jean: Very good. The current problem with controllers is the staff shortage, and we are working on it. We currently have only 42 controllers in the whole country, and with the current and forecasted traffic, we need a lot more. For this, we are now recruiting 24 new controllers that will start training in the coming months. The initial training will be done here in Port-au-Prince, and the advanced one in the Dominican Republic and Canada. The Controller: The airport looks quite old and small for a country capital. Do you have plans to expand it?


Photo: Philippe Domogala

z Photo: Olivier Philip Jean and Jean Daniel Descollines

JD Decollines: Before the earthquake in 2010, Port-au-Prince Airport received around 600,000 Haitian Gourdes per year. In 2017, we got 1.5 million Haitian Gourdes. Our forecast says that by 2030, we could have between 4 and 5 million Haitian Gourdes. We need to develop the airport, and adding a new terminal is part of the plan. We also recently opened the airport of Cap-Haïtien (a city in the north of the country) to international flights. Aviation contributes a lot to the recovery of Haiti’s economy, and it is our duty to expand the airport’s capacity.

The Controller: What are the other

immediate improvements you are going to implement?

olivier jean: In the next two years, will see

a lot of changes, including a new building hosting a new ACC and the introduction of radar for surveillance. A new ILS in

Port-au-Prince is already done; the plates and procedures are just missing, and should be ready in a few months. And next May, we expect the construction of the new tower to start. We also will have a new training centre. We also are planning to build a parallel taxiway and new apron, resurface the runway, and renew airport lightning.

The Controller: The earthquake was nine years ago. Why does it takes so long to improve things? olivier jean: Procedures. The funding for these improvements was arranged. It is half from the IDB bank and half from the government. Unfortunately, procedures here are not efficient to make things happen as fast as we would like.y


z Americas


A CONTINUING STRUGGLE z by Shelby Ng, Dominican Air Traffic Controllers Association Haiti shares the Hispaniola Island with its neighbour the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation by area after Cuba at 48,671 square kilometers. The Dominican Republic is the third-largest Caribbean nation by population with approximately 10 million people, approximately three million of whom live in the metropolitan area of the Dominican capital city Santo Domingo. And Dominican controllers – like the air traffic controllers in Haiti – are struggling. Dominicans controllers have been in struggle with their employer for many years. Long before the appointment in March 2011 of the current Director General of our employer, the Instituto Dominicano de Aviación Civil (IDAC), the civil aviation authority of the Dominican Republic, the Dominican Air Traffic Controllers Association (ADCA) was already demanding improvements in the equipment and safety conditions of the country's air navigation system, as well as for the working and living conditions of its members and the institution’s technical personnel. There have been serious deficiencies in air-ground, ground-air, and ground-ground communications; continuous surveillance radar failures; a lack of anemometers, barometers, emergency radios, and voice recorders; poor technical support personnel for radio frequencies and emergency services; inadequate staff facilities; and other difficulties. The technical deficiencies reached such a magnitude that there were not enough microphones available. An acting controller and his or her coordinator had to share the same microphone in order to carry out their air traffic control tasks. This made the provision of air traffic control service in our FIR almost impossible. On the labour side, there is technical personnel understaffing both in towers and radar control centers, requiring up to 72hour shifts without adequate resting facilities. This situation prevailed in all the airports of the country, except Las Americas and Punta Cana, where work shifts are limited to 9.5 to 14.5 hours of continuous work. 12

z Photo: Las Americas ATCT The sum of all these difficulties resulted in numerous situations of reduced separation between aircraft. Some of these almost led to collisions. In a meeting held with the Director General of the Dominican Republic’s air navigation service provider in August, 2011, he requested ADCA to perform a general assessment of the technical and labour situation in all control units. ADCA prepared and delivered this assessment a month later. Eight months later, the Director General provided 18 microphones to Las Americas airport control centre. This response did little to address problems at this one centre and did nothing to alleviate the chaotic situation at other facilities or with the air navigation system in the Dominican Republic in general. The system remains unsafe. Despite these difficulties, controllers continue to give their best. Employees are motivated by the efforts of ADCA’s Executive Board to achieve real solutions to all the deficiencies mentioned above, including the modification of the association bylaws to prevent management from being part of the Executive Committee and removing their right to vote or speak in assemblies.

After 13 letters and about 10 meetings, the once good relations with the Director General came to a critical point with the discovery of a draft amendment to the Civil Aviation Act introduced to Congress of the Dominican Republic by the Director General that significantly reduces the rights acquired by the technical and administrative personnel and lays the foundations for the privatization of the air navigation services. One of the main goals of this draft amendment is to remove an article (Art. 37), which grants the protection of the recommendations and resolutions of the International Labor Organization (ILO), with the purpose of providing IDAC’s employees the protection and assistance that is recognized by the principles of international law of which the Dominican state is a signatory, including the freedom of association, the right to organize, and effective recognition of the right of collective bargaining. When we discovered this, ADCA confronted the Director General and denounced this plan in the national media. As part of this denunciation, ADCA publicly disclosed the serious deficiencies in the Dominican air navigation system. These efforts culminated with ADCA thwarting the Director General’s modification plan in May 2013, by preventing the

z americas annulment of this Article 37 of the Civil Aviation Law in both legislative chambers of the Congress of the Dominican Republic. After this political loss, the Director General retaliated and started a systematic attack against ADCA and its members, putting into practice a series of measures aimed at destroying the Association. These measures include the suspension of the automatic payroll deduction for ADCA membership fees, the total closure of communication channels between ADCA’s Executive Board and our ANSP, defamatory posts in social media, arbitrary transfers, demotions, and other unfair penalties against ADCA and collaborating members of the Executive Board. IDAC created a competing company union (UPCAD) in December 2013 whose members mostly include management personnel and former ADCA members. IDAC also bribed ADCA members to resign from the Association with unjustified trips and promotions, promises of radar training to aerodrome controllers, and false claims that the 35 percent salary increase – agreed to by the ADCA and the central government months before the conflict – was the result of UPCAD. In January 2014, the Director General demanded that ADCA issue a public and written retraction of their reports about the unsafe conditions in the Dominican civil aviation system. ADCA responded by picketing in front of IDAC’s administrative offices, reiterating these irregularities and demanding their prompt solution. In February 2014, the Director General retaliated by suspending 12 controllers, including the seven members of ADCA’s Executive Board, and then illegally firing them on April 5, 2014. This motivated a call for an extraordinary General Assembly where the majority of the present members demanded the rehiring of the fired ATCOs. This action failed because of a lack of cohesion among all the ATCOs because they feared losing their jobs and the presence of UPCAD. In the days following the call to strike, 16 more controllers were fired, bringing the total to 28. Right after this, ADCA filed a constitutional complaint with the higher courts of the Dominican Republic. The court granted ADCA members the right to strike and demanded that they be immediately allowed to return to their jobs. This ruling was disregarded by the IDAC Director General for several months. This case still has not been fully resolved by the Constitutional Court.

All photos: Philippe Domogala

z Photos: (top) Picketing in front of IDAC, (center) demonstrating in front of IDAC, (bottom) military blocking demonstration From the very beginning of the conflict, ADCA’s executives have brought international attention to their plight at several international meetings and conferences. As a result of this international outreach, ADCA’s ATCOs have had the support of many national and international organizations, including IFATCA, NATCA, CATCA, ATCOs' Branch, BATCU, GHATCA, APCAH, SITECNA and its other member associations, as well as: ITF, CSI, CSA, CNTD, CNUS, CASC, and others. These national and international organizations have reiterated their support to ADCA by condemning the abuse by the IDAC Director General with the support of the central government.

IFATCA has displayed great support. IDAC and Dominican central government authorities have refused to meet with IFATCA’s Executive Vice President of the Americas John Carr. In addition, ITF President of the Americas Antonio Rodriguez Fritz visited on three occasions. Fritz was illegally detained with ADCA members who had been holding a vigil for 396 days in front of the National Palace. The ITF has also financed the participation of ADCA in a thematic hearing at the headquarters of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C., as well as visits to ITF offices in London and Rio de Janeiro. y




z by Philippe Domogala, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, IFATCA IFATCA’s Americas Region held their annual meeting near the city of Montrouis, Haiti, 150 kilometers north of Port-au-Prince. The meeting was officially opened by Olivier Jean, the Director General at Haiti’s Office National de l'Aviation Civile (OFNAC), the civil aviation authority of Haiti, and Jean Daniel Descollines, representing Haiti’s Ministry of Transport. The meeting was chaired by IFATCA’s EVP Americas John Carr, who kept the meetings on schedule and focused on the agenda. The meeting included a series of extremely interesting educational presentations. IFATCA’s former President and CEO Patrik Peters made the first presentation about how to deal with fatigue. Fatigue is an important issue, because of increasing traffic and chronic controller staffing shortages. Many air navigation service providers (ANSPs) around the world are forcing controllers to work more hours while coping with more and more traffic. Jean Francois Lepage, IFATCA’s representative to the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Air Navigation Commission (ANC), explained the work of IFATCA’s technical and professional committees and described how their studies have an impact on ICAO.

I (Philippe Domogala) did a presentation on the history of IFATCA, what it has achieved, and what our Federation is doing to help its member associations. I also did a presentation on communications during an emergency between pilots and controllers, with emphasis on the minimum fuel issue that has led to many fatal accidents. My last presentation was on how to implement Just Culture and what not to do once it is implemented. Hantz Célestin, the Director of Search and Rescue (SAR) in Haiti, explained how SAR is done in the country and what are the challenges of finding an aircraft today after an emergency. ICAO has mandated that every state must have SAR in place. As a result, it is becoming a real issue, but many states still are poorly equipped to do it properly. Bernard Gonzales from Aireon gave attendees a presentation explaining the benefits of space-based ADS-B. After these informative presentations, the members associations attending the meeting presented an overview of their current problems and concerns. The common feature of almost every report was staff shortages in various forms. Another

common regional issue is the poor level of remuneration in most South American countries. It is sad, but not really surprising that only one association from South America (Argentina) was present at the meeting. If we take the example of Bolivia, a member association with real problems, as demonstrated by the fallout from the November 2016 RJ85 accident in Columbia. (See page 7.) At the IFATCA meeting, we learned there are no direct flights from La Paz, Bolivia, to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. To make that trip, one needs to fly via Panama or Miami, and such tickets cost at least 1,000 U.S. dollars. The average salary of a controller in Bolivia is 700 U.S. dollars a month including overtime. Because of the staff shortage, Bolivian controllers are

z Photos: (top) Valery Dupont, President APCAH, opens the Regional meeting, (bottom, left) Opening Ceremony AMA Regional meeting with Presidential band, (bottom, right) IFATCA EVP AMA John Carr and NATCA Southern Region VP Jim Marinitti





z Photos: (above): The traditional flag ceremony, where every member association presents their flag for a souvenir photo (below) the Decameron Hotel, site of the Regional meeting forced to work up to 250 hours a month. Besides the cost of the travel, getting time off from their employer to attend a meeting would also be difficult. This is unfortunate, because member associations such as Bolivia would benefit from attending IFATCA meetings. The same could be said for almost all the other South American associations. Another subject raised during the meetings was that when new equipment is purchased by ANSPs, controllers are seldom involved or consulted. The systems ordered often are not suited for the environment, and it is then up to the controllers to fix the bugs and cope with the shortcomings. In

one case, we learned it took six years for the controllers to get proficient with a new system, and they only became proficient after they fixed numerous issues by themselves.

All photos: Philippe Domogala

The social events around the meeting were very well arranged thanks to the active and friendly Haitian controllers that helped make sure everyone felt at home. IFATCA’s next Americas regional meeting will be held in Argentina in Oct./Nov. 2019. y

controller under house arrest in bolivia In November 2016, an Avro RJ85 traveling from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, to Medellin, Colombia, ran out of fuel and crashed shortly before landing. The flight was operated by Lamia, a small charter airline with a single plane. 71 of the 77 people on the flight died. The plane was carrying a Brazilian soccer team, which was heading to the South American Cup finals. Details about the incident show how preventable this tragedy was. The plane’s crew filed a flight plan where the endurance was equal to the flight time. The flight from Santa Cruz to Medellin covers a distance of 2,960 kilometers, while the range of the Avro RJ85 is 2,965 kilometers. Before the plane departed Santa Cruz, ground staff raised concerns about the plane flying the distance nonstop, but the pilot made “verbal guarantees” that the plane had enough fuel for the trip. The


pilot deliberately risked flying the distance in one stretch without a refueling stop en route. He only declared an emergency after the plane was out of fuel and started descending. The black box recording confirms that the pilot could be heard saying they were running out of fuel, and authorities confirmed that the plane had no fuel when it crashed. The AIS agent that received and accepted the flight plan feared for her safety and fled to Brazil and asked for political asylum there. The final report about the accident was issued in April 2018, and none of the causes or recommendations mentioned ATC as a factor. Despite the facts of this case, the Bolivian ATC supervisor at the Santa Cruz airport, Joons Teodovich, was arrested for having given the pilot the authorisation to take off. Teodovich was placed under house arrest and remains there today. IF-

ATCA’s EVP for the Americas Region John Carr visited Bolivia in November 2017 and met with him. IFATCA wrote letters to authorities in Bolivia to denounce the situation, but as of yet, they have not been willing to free him.

z Photo: Joons Teodovich and John Carr


z americas


During the recent 35-day shutdown of the United States government, air traffic controllers and many other aviation safety professionals in the U.S. were forced to work without pay. These controllers and other aviation professionals joined together and communicated with government leaders, media representatives, other aviation stakeholder groups, and the general public about the hardships caused by the shutdown and the lasting effects that the shutdown will have on the U.S. airspace system. Because of these outreach efforts, air traffic control and aviation safety became one of the primary issues debated throughout the shutdown.

Much of this government advocacy, media outreach, and public education was organized by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the labor union that represents U.S. controllers and other aviation safety professionals. NATCA members and their families gathered in Washington, to rally on Capitol Hill, calling for Congress to end the shutdown. Joining NATCA at the rally were numerous members of Congress and other U.S. aviation industry representatives from airports, airlines, pilots, flight attendents, general aviation, and UAS. The event was covered extensively by all the national news networks, political media, and other media based in Washing-

ton. Hundreds of NATCA members also came to Washington, to meet with members of Congress and congressional staff in all 535 offices of the U.S. House and the Senate. During the shurtdown, NATCA members gave hundreds of media interviews to television, radio, newspaper, and online reporters. NATCA members engaged directly with the flying public through leafleting at 68 airports around the U.S. During the shutdown, members handed out nearly 300,000 leaflets to the flying public explaining the hardships caused by the shutdown and the lasting effects that the

z Photos: (above) NATCA President Paul Rinaldi speaks at a rally of air traffic controllers & other aviation stakeholders at the U.S. Capitol. (below) NATCA President Paul Rinaldi and NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert discussed the effects of the government shutdown on national news outlets.

z americas

All photos: NATCA

z Photos: (above) NATCA members engaged directly with the flying public by leafleting at 68 airports around the U.S. shutdown will have on the U.S. airspace system. An important factor motivating U.S. legislators to end the shutdown were flight delays at some airports because of air traffic controller staffing issues. After the

shutdown ended, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi testified before a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives about how the shutdown was harmful to the safety of the U.S. airspace system. NATCA is advocating for legislation that would ex-

empt the U.S. aviation system from future government shutdowns. Testifying with Rinaldi, were the leaders Airlines for America (A4A), Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), and General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). y

z Photos: (below/left) During the shutdown, NATCA members met with members of Congress and congressional staff in all 535 offices of the U.S. House and the Senate, including Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. (below/center) NATCA President Paul Rinaldi testified before a House of Representatives committee. (below/right) Air traffic controllers protested at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

z americas


As United States controllers were in the throes of the 35-day government shutdown that forced them to work without pay, their friends and colleagues from across their northern border showed them professional and personal solidarity. Canadian Air Traffic Control Association (CATCA) President Peter Duffey said the goodwill began the week of 7 January when CATCA members in Edmonton, Alberta, bought pizzas for their colleagues at a National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) office in Anchorage, Alaska. Dozens of other Canadian traffic control facilities followed and ultimately more than 400 pizzas had been delivered to NATCA members across the U.S., including as far south as El Paso, Texas. “The amazing controllers of Fort McMurray Tower in Alberta, Canada, and the Prairie Region of CATCA were the ones responsible for the pizzas delivered to El Paso,” El Paso local union Vice President Cesar Cordero said. “This gesture not only warms my heart, but it has created a bond with them and the CATCA organization that I won’t ever forget.” One pizza delivery, by Vancouver controllers to Seattle Air Route Traffic Control Center received worldwide publicity in People magazine. It featured a photo of Seattle Center NATCA members Tim Ireland and Devin Carlisto holding two pizzas each with a sign that read, “United and Undivided,” with the NATCA and CATCA logos adorning it. The article quoted CATCA Communications Director Tania Calverley, who said, “Pizza won’t fix everything but it’s a sign from our controllers that says we understand and we’re thinking of them.” In a letter of support to NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, Duffey wrote, “On behalf of our 2,000 Canadian Air Traffic Controllers, please know that we all stand alongside our NATCA colleagues as a sign of solidarity in your demand for the end of the US government shutdown. The environment in which all our Controllers work is incredibly highpaced and stressful. The added stress of your Controllers being furloughed, but still executing their jobs with the highest integrity, speaks volumes of this industry and our professionals.” 18

Canadians have shown great support before, including during the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. On that terrible day, when U.S. airspace was closed z Photos: (top) Palm Springs International Airport Controllers but many U.S.-bound Stuart Hocking and Shyan Lasater-Bailey recieved pizzas from aircraft were airborne (bottom) Saskatoon controller Paul Mongeau. and en route, citizens of Gander, Newfoundland, housed and fed nearly 6,700 people. The town itself has only 10,000 citizens. About the pizza deliveries, Ryan Van Haren, Director at BC (British Columbia, Canada) General Aviation Association and a Canadian air traffic controller, wrote, “I am proud to be an Air Traffic Controller on days like this. We have each other’s backs despite international borders or politics. We work together toward one common goal of ensuring the safety of aircraft and making sure that everyone gets where they need to go as efficiently as possible!” Two controllers from Toronto even took the pizza campaign to a new level when they not only bought lunch for their colleagues in Buffalo, N.Y., but flew it down to them, thanks to a friend with a small plane. Hamilton, Ontario Canada controllers added to the lunch by driving down more food. “I get to see how much they cared about us,” NATCA Buffalo Facility Representative Ryan Dojka said. “It’s something you can’t describe. I hope to reciprocate one day.” In addition, air traffic controllers in the Dominican Republic, Ireland, and Russia also sent pizza, and controllers in Mexico sent burritos to U.S. facilities. “During difficult times it becomes very clear who has your back,” NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert said. y


z americas


Air traffic controller associations and other aviation professional associations from around the world sent letters in support and solidarity of NATCA and its members during the recent U.S. government shutdown. Over and over, these international associations voiced concern for the well-being of the members and pride for the way the members continued to be professional, never putting safety at risk. NATCA received support from the Air Traffic Controllers' Guild (India), the Air Traffic Controllers Association of Tunisia, ASECNA CĂ´te d'Ivoire, the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union, the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association, Civil Air (Air Traffic Control Australia), the College of Air Traffic Controllers of Mexico (COCTAM), the Dominican Air Traffic Controllers Association, the Global Air Traffic Controllers Alliance, the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations, the International Transport Workers' Federation, the Irish Air Traffic Controllers Association, the New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association, the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association, the Professional Union of Dominican Air Traffic Controllers, Inc., Prospect ATCOs' Branch, ROCATCA Taiwan, the Swedish Air Traffic Controllers Association, and the Trinidad and Tobago Air Traffic Controllers Association. A number of these letters are shown here.y



z americas



z americas



focus on cameroon z Africa & middle east

SUCCESSFUL 29TH AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST REGIONAL MEETING IN NIGERIA z by M. Fateh bekht, IFATCA's EVP for africa & Middle East Region In November 2018, the Nigerian Air Traffic Controller Association (NATCA) welcomed air traffic controllers from IFATCA’s African & Middle East (AFM) Region to the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja for the 29th AFM regional meeting. The theme of the regional meeting was “seamless friendly skies.” The meeting brought together delegates representing 18 IFATCA member associations. Other attendees included representatives from two ATM systems manufacturers (VIBE Systems and AMC systems), government officials, Nigerian Air Force personnel, a RWANDAIR representative, and ITF. The Nigerian Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, opened the meeting. Sen. Sirika expressed the commitment of the Nigerian government for growth and development of the aviation industry in general and air traffic service in particular. The Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Muktar Usman, and the Rector of the Nigerian College of Civil Aviation Technology (NCAT), Captain Abdulsalam Mohammed, also were in attendance. In their speeches, both expressed their support to NATCA and closed by wishing meeting participants well in achieving their objectives. IFATCA’s former President and CEO Patrik Peters delivered a briefing about IFATCA, its priorities and objectives, and the features on its website. He emphasized the importance of African representatives to IFATCA committees and teams. He also reminded the delegates that the Federation’s work is to support the member associations (MAs) and requested that they keep the executive board informed of the issues that they have. He encouraged all delegates to take advantage of the meeting by participating in discussions, learning, and making new friends. IFATCA’s Executive Vice President for AFM M. Fateh Bekht welcomed mem22

bers and encouraged them to share their experiences and knowledge to ensure the safety of the sky. He shared information about trainings offered by IFATCA in the region, including English Language Proficiency Train the Trainer sessions in Maputo and Abidjan and a Think Safety session in Douala. He also talked about the CBT session planned for Johannesburg and the Think Safety session planned for Abuja. At the meeting, there was a special focus on some overriding issues of the region: Ethiopian Case: The Ethiopian member association requested better salaries and licenses for ATCOs from their government. After negotiations failed, Ethiopian members began a strike and suspended their services. The Civil Aviation Authority – through Ethiopian Airlines – called for licensed ATCOs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, and ASECNA – an ANSP of 17 countries in western and central Africa. Retired controllers in Ethiopia were reinstated, and nine strikers got arrested and jailed. Kafendo Case: Members once again discussed the Margaret Kafendo case in Uganda. Kafendo was terminated without financial compensation. The matter was brought to court and she won, but the income she got wasn’t enough to even cover her lawyer fees. She continues fighting for reintegration as an ATCO. IFATCA, her member association and other member associations expressed their support.

• How ITF can collaborate with IFATCA to improve work conditions of ATCOs • IFATCA TOC/PLC working papers, and • IFATCA Courses Member associations are encouraged to participate in IFATCA by submitting articles to The Controller Magazine, by accessing the IFATCA website, and taking advantage of IFATCA’s educational materials. Member associations were encouraged to take advantage of the available courses being offered by IFATCA, including CISM (Individual Crisis intervention and peer support, group crisis intervention, advanced group crisis intervention, strategic response to crisis), CBT for ATCOs, Think safety, Investigation, and Safety Culture. They were challenged to ensure true professionalism among their members by having specialized knowledge and competency and also to inform IFATCA ahead of a situation before it becomes a larger problem (per the Ethiopian controllers situation as an example). For union issues, member associations were encouraged to work closely with ITF to strengthen their unions and bargain for better working conditions. In line

The three-day conference also covered issues, including: • Remotedly piloted aircraft systems • Fatigue management • Critical Incidence Stress Management • Airport expansion • Pilots perception of background noise during ATCOs radio transmission • IFATCA activities (the federation website and The Controller Magazine)


z Africa focus on cameroon z & middle east

z Photos: (above/left) Rector of the Nigerian College of Civil Aviation Technology Captain Abdulsalam Mohammed, IFATCA President Patrik Peters, Nigerian Minister of State for Aviation Hadi Sirika, and Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority Captain Muktar Usman; (above/right) IFATCA Regional Meeting in the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja with ILO, controllers have the right to belong to a union and negotiate regarding their service conditions. It is imperative that MAs join and partake in all activities by their respective state unions. They should continue to work with their ANSP and CAAs to ensure the involvement of ATCOs on the adoption of new technology that meets the requirements of all stakeholders. Attendees made recommendations regarding draft papers presented in a workshop by the EVP-Professional Mr. Peter Van Rooyen, TOC Chairwoman Ms. Renee Pauptit, and PLC Chairman Mr. Alfred Vlasekhave: Airport Expansion: Establish a mandatory system by getting ATCOs involved in decision making. Harmonize regulations and procedures across the region. Crisis management/Just culture/CISM: Checklist, database of best practices,

success stories, and training requirements should be on the web page, also indicating how to implement and maintain it. Licensing: Problem still exists. Requirements defined by ICAO are not sufficient. Performance Based Endorsement: Currently not an issue in the Africa region. Implement the procedures of SIDs/ STARs, PBN, and ACDM. At the end of the conference, Tunisia was elected to host the 30th IFATCA AFM regional meeting in 2019. Kenya and Cameroon are vying to host the 31st IFATCA AFM regional meeting in 2020. The morning after the regional meeting, Alfred Vlasek and Tom Larsen led a twoday Think Safety Course for about 40 of the attendees of the regional meeting. y

z Photos: (right) IFATCA’s EVP for AFM M. Fateh Bekht welcomed members, (below) participants at the IFATCA Africa & Middle East Regional Meeting


All photos: Philippe Domogala


z europe

IRISH WELCOME FOR IFATCA'S EUROPEAN REGIONAL MEETING z by Philippe Domogala, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, IFATCA One hundred forty controllers from 35 European countries gathered at the Gresham Hotel in Dublin last October for meeting of IFATCA’s European Region. The Gresham is the same hotel that hosted the first meeting of the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO) in 1946. PICAO became the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 1947. IFATCA’s EVP Europe Tom Laursen set the tone of the meeting by saying that the last 15 years had been spent discussing SES and solving problems with technology. He stated that it is time for IFATCA members to talk about solutions and possibilities. In his opening speech, Brendan Mulligan from the Irish Aviation Authority said that we should take care of demographics in ATC. For example, he described how half of the Irish ATC workforce are millennials and have had automation around them since they started their careers. Mulligan stated how this is a real long-term issue, because automation de-skills people. z Photo: IFATCA EVP for Europe Tom Laursen welcomed participants

IFATCA’s former President and CEO Patrik Peters said it was time to stop focussing of what is wrong and start looking at what goes right. Peters said we should stop criticising one another for current problems and accept that cooperation will get us on the right track. z Photo: Eurocontrol Director General Eammon Brennan and Ryanair’s Deputy Director of Operations Choorah Singh The first panel discussion was on the theme of predictabil- manually in emergency cases. The rest of the time, he manages the aircraft sysity. During this panel: tems. Controllers still control manually, Kenneth Thomas, from the Eurocontrol and that does not fit the 21st Century.” Network Manager, stated that last sum- Baumann also said, “Controllers licences mer was not as expected, because of should be based on technology not local huge shortfalls in capacity that led to airspace. Move airspace around, not conmassive delays. He advocated for a more trollers.” flexible workforce and recommended that certification be based on systems, not airspace. This change would allow more capacity where staff shortages are the most acute. He also advocated for network regulations and delays, instead of local ones. Roel Huurdemann of Maastricht UAC explained how predictability recently has been affected by unpredictable weather, uncertainty about actual take off times and flight levels used for cruising, military activity closing airspace, etc. He suggested states make capacity contracts with the network manager or even sell capacity to a network manager. His suggestion was very controversial.

Photos: Philippe Domogala


Achim Baumann of the Airlines for Europe (A4E) trade association spoke. Baumann said his group represents 15 airlines in Europe with 2900 aircraft. He said airlines need predictability, and the system should be network centric. A4E has been vocal against ATC. Baumann said, “ATC should manage flights, not control them.” He added, “A pilot today only flies

The second panel discussion was about ATCs work with our European partners. During this panel, Volker Dick, president of Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (ATCEUC), talked about the social dialogue with the European Union (EU). ATCEUC was created in 1989 and currently is composed of 32 professional and autonomous trade unions representing more than 14,000 air traffic controllers throughout Europe. Dick said, “We only meet [with the EU] once a year. This is not really a dialogue. When we meet with them, they give you the impression they listen to you, but they do not change anything.” The last panel debate was the most revealing. It was on the future of ATM in Europe, the challenges of the Single European Sky (SES ), and possible solutions for these challenges. During this panel: Eurocontrol Director General Eammon Brennan talked about the need to use Eurocontrol’s expertise and know how to resolve these SES problems.


z europe

by government officials trying to avoid responsibility for problems with ATC in their countries. One note of optimism, when ruling about a medical case in 2017, the Italian Supreme Court ruled that “there should be no criminal prosecution if a doctor is following recognised good medical practices.” That court decision could set a precedent for similar cases where controllers are prosecuted for incidents.

EU cost-reduction targets (the famous RPs) are intended to reduce costs and lower route charges unit rates, but European controllers have criticised them, saying they have led to staff shortages. Regula Dettling-Ott chair of the Performance Review board (PRB), which is setting those targets, was on the panel and replied that “our targets are ambitious, but realistic.” In response to arguments about RPs leading to staff shortages, she replied, “There should be an efficient allocation of staff, and we should allocate controllers where they are needed and change the licencing system to be based on systems validation, not sectors or geography. Dettling-Ott stated that when an existing ATS unit is not performing, the unit should be switched off and the airspace should be given to someone else. Finally, she said that we should only invest in equipment that enhances cost efficiency.

cially critical of France and Germany. He talked about strikes, pointing out there had been 25 days of strikes at that point in 2018, compared to 13 days of strikes in 2017. His vision for ATC in Europe is for greater utilisation of controllers through flexible rostering, encouraging mobility, using standardised tools and automation. (The Ryanair concept probably would move controllers around Europe in the same way the airline moves pilots from base to base, operating standardised equipment, the way their pilots operate a single type of aircraft.)

There was a slightly different tone coming from Alfonso Malheiro and Patrik Weldon of the European Court of Auditors. They agreed that RPs cost-reduction targets have caused reduction of capacity because of staff shortages. They said we have to change our culture, but not through the Single Sky idea. Malheiro and Weldon said that despite some shortcomings, the PRB has promoted a performance-oriented culture and more transparency in the distribution of route charges.

z Photos: (above) Regional meeting participants during a session, (below/top) all female colleagues before the closing event, (below/bottom) the organising team greeting attendees

After those interesting debates, a closed session was held to discuss member association problems, including how controllers are tried and convicted and given jail and fines for incidents in some states and the bullying and dismissal of one union president. The group talked about how individuals are used as scapegoats

The social events around the meeting were second to none, because of the great work of the organising team, who made sure everybody enjoyed themselves. The next European Region meeting will be held from 10-12 October, 2019, in Aqaba, Jordan, which now is in the European Region. y

Ryanair’s Deputy Director of Operations Choorah Singh explained their vision for ATC. He is surprised at how archaic ATC systems are compared to airborne systems, especially considering the amount of money spent by airlines on ATC charges. Ryanair has 84 bases in Europe and serves 224 airports in 37 states. Ryanair has 455 aircraft in its current fleet. They have another 210 aircraft on order and plan to operate 600 aircraft by 2024. They currently offer 2,400 flights a day. They are the largest airline in Europe, and they pay the most ATC charges. They claim the ATC service they receive is unacceptable in some states. He was espe-




FLYING VFR IN FRANCE z by Philippe Domogala, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, IFATCA Other than the United States, France is by far one of the easiest and most open countries to fly VFR. That fact is perhaps not surprising, as France has second largest number of pilots and general aviation (GA) aircraft registered in the world after the U.S. There are more than 450 airfields open to GA, not counting ultra-light, private, and glider-only airstrips. For a country that is roughly 1,000 x 1,000 kilometers, that number is quite remarkable. A little-known fact is that the Wright Brothers came to France in 1907, three years after their first flight. They started a flying school in Pau, France, because they were unable to convince anyone in America at the time that aircraft would be a thing. In France, they found support for flying and inspired the first French aviation pioneers, including Bleriot and Farman. This culture from the early 1900s still lives today, and general aviation in France remains very popular. Every small town has its own local aero club where young people from the age of 14 can learn how to fly and from the

z Photos: (above) the author at 500 feet, (below/top) Atlantic coastline near Bordeaux, and (below/bottom) Oleron Island

age of 15 can be licensed. Volunteers act as instructors and help to keep the price down. In total, there are over 600 aero clubs in France. The vast majority of those clubs use airstrips or airports where there are no landing fees, making both flying and traveling VFR in France inexpensive, easy, and uncomplicated. A lot of French airspace is unrestricted and can be used, even without radio. When pilots do have a radio, calling Flight Information Service (FIS) will ensure a safer ride. FIS is available everywhere, coupled with the approach units of the main airports. Most controllers working the FIS frequencies are or have been private pilots themselves. A private pilot licence was part of ATCO training for many years. So controllers have a good idea of the specifics of VFR. Flying over the French landscape, there is natural beauty nearly everywhere. You can fly 500 feet above almost everywhere legally, excluding cities, even if they have a large river running through them. Things like the Sydney Bay tour or Photos: Philippe Domogala


z EUROPE: VFR FLYING the New York Hudson River transit are unfortunately no longer possible in France. But there are other wonders to fly over. I could describe 50 trips worth mentioning. Of course, these trips include the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Côte d’Azur on the Mediterranean, and the magnificent castles along the Loire River. My favourite trips also include some that are less well known, such as the Atlantic Coast around Bordeaux and the way to the volcanoes in the little-visited Massif Central. Almost all small Atlantic isles have a small airstrip. Among these, île d’Oleron and île d’Yeu are easy to reach. Many others are directly on the coastline, 2530 kilometers apart from each other, including Biscarrosse, Arcachon, Andernos, Royan, Rochefort, La Rochelle, and Les Sables. One can easily land at one of these airstrips and have lunch in a small restaurant on the seaside a few minutes away. Some have beaches close by and nearly all offer possibilities to rent bicycles. The months to avoid are from November to mid-March, when winds can be strong, and rain is more common.

z Photos: (top/left) Oyster fields on the Atlantic coast, (top/right) inside the volcano crater, (bottom/ left) rivers leading to the volcano park, and (bottom/right) a typical medieval castle along the route

The volcanoes of the Massif Central are in the centre of the country, reachable from small airports like Aurillac, SaintFlour, or le Puy. The nature is unspoiled there. Local restaurants serve excellent and inexpensive food and finding a small hotel is very easy, as the area is relatively remote and therefore not that touristic. To get there, I highly recommend following one of the main rivers that meanders through the region. The Dordogne River is my favourite, because its shores are full of small middle-age fortified villages and medieval castles, some in ruins, but many are restored. AVGAS now is available at nearly all airfields using a credit card or a fuel card. There are some French particularities that a VFR pilot should keep in mind:


Lunch is still a strong tradition in France, and nearly everything stops between noon and 2 o’clock in the afternoon, including ATC at most regional airports That does not mean you cannot land or take off during that time. It just means you’re on your own and need to make what is called “auto-information.” The majority of aero club airfields do not have a tower, and it’s all “auto-information.” While this generally works very well, at smaller fields, you have to do this in French. It’s not a huge hurdle, if you learn basic French words, like downwind, base finals, etc., and can spell numbers one to ten.

something to watch out for. Before flying, pilots always should read the latest NOTAMs on the Internet for free or call FIS. Another thing available for free online is the French AIP with all the visual approach charts for all airports in France.

In addition, on weekends and public holidays, nearly all small airfields have other aeronautical activities like gliders, model flying, and parachute jumping. That is

The typical cost of renting an aircraft from a club is between 100 euros for a small 100 HP 2-seater to 150 euros for a 160 HP 4-seater including fuel. AVGAS is currently around 2 euros per litre. If you would like to fly in France, contact me. I can give you more tips, as I fly there every year. y


z europe


SESAR Representative

Last October, GATCO, the UK Guild of Air traffic Controllers, and BALPA, the British Air Line Pilots Association, once again jointly organized a pilot-controllers symposium in Heathrow. Around 60 pilots and controllers attended the one-day event and had the opportunity to exchange views on some of the current challenges facing both UK and Europe. The event included presentations and discussions around important issues such as the regulatory aspects of incorporating drones in controlled airspace and the critical review of the classification of incident and accident investigations. In addition, there was a presentation by UK NATS on their vision for airspace in 2025 and one from the Eurocontrol network Manager on how to better integrate the weather in their work.

GATCO President and CEO Luis Barbero gave the presentation “Radical Changes for a More Efficient ATM System.” He described options for the way forward with a number of not-new-but-still-to-beimplemented specific solutions to the current challenges of ATM. The solutions he described included better Civil Military coordination to access the highly military restricted airspace we see everywhere in Europe. He also discussed a new airspace classification with only three classes (basically the actual A, D and F classes). Barbero also advocated to apply market economy principles in

order to adapt supply and demand (in other words, selling slots to the highest bidders). He also advocated that ANSPs should only be ANSPS and not development companies competing with one another. NATS GM Customer Affairs Andy Stand gave the professional on NATS current “total modernization of ATM” project, or vision for 2025. He described past, present, and future developments within the British ANSP. He said a new airspace structure is needed in the southern UK, as currently 95 percent of the traffic in Lon-

z Photo: GATCO President Luis Barbero during the opening of the Pilots-Controllers Symposium

All photos: Philippe Domogala



z europe

z Photo: The head table during the final debate during the GATCO Pilots-Controllers Symposium

don TMA is radar vectored. There will be a move towards FRA (Free routes) and A-FUA (Flexible use airspace) and replacing X-MAN (The current terminal Arrival manager tool) by TTA/TTO (target time of arrival and target time over a point). NATS also is implementing Space based ADS-B over its Oceanic airspace and claims that with it they will finally meet the ICAO recommended target level of safety (TLS). The actual benefits of these developments is not yet very clear, but NATS is certainly one of the most active ANSP in Europe today. UK CAA UAS Sector Lead Andrew Hamilton gave a presentation about the regulatory aspects of UAS (drones). On the day of his presentation, he stated there were 4,718 drone operators in the UK, and the number is growing every day. There are three types of UAS users: • Regulated users: professionals, law abiding, and commercial operators, • Unregulated users: hobbyists (where education is crucial), and • Criminal or negligent users: difficult to predict and regulate. Regulatory enforcement can only be done by the police, as “the CAA cannot bust into people’s houses looking for “drone criminals”! Restrictions like geofencing, jamming, or even capture are being investigated, but no clear guidelines exist for these. Therefore, the UK CAA is concentrating on public education, using shows, conferences, schools visits, etc. and hoping for the best. Eurocontrol’s Director of Network Management Directorate Joe Sultana gave a presentation on how to tackle the “new” weather importance in the network. He described how weather currently is the second largest contributor to delays in Europe. Convective (en-route) weather delays have doubled from 2017 and tri-


pled from 2016. Today, the network only reacts to convective weather phenomena and doesn’t act strategically according to a global European forecast. What is needed first and foremost is a global forecast for Europe, one that all stakeholders can have access to and use for their own projections. Local forecasts are not sufficient and many times are actually detrimental to strategically prepare for weather phenomena at the network scale. In addition, today ACCs are reluctant to plan capacity reduction measures on day-1 and prefer to wait for other ACCs to request flow measures to protect them to avoid delays being attributed to them. Furthermore, flow measures are too often kept active after the weather has moved on to allow for protection against the expected backlog. Sultana said the way forward must be a centralized strategy and decision making and the NMD is the best body to take it on. During the discussion a pilot said, “Don’t go the US way! European ATC is much more flexible regarding weather. In the U.S., they just close the airspace and that’s it!” BALPA Head of Flight Safety Captain Rob Hunter provided an overview of the difference between findings and causes in accident investigation reports. He advocated using the 28 days commentary period after a report is made to enter objections or remarks. He made an interesting observation about descriptions of the facts, “Depending on who you represent, contradictory narratives of the same event can be true at the same time.” The discussion that ensued focused greatly on liability and prosecution, as we see more and more of those in Europe.

The last presentation was on the practical Implementation of Fatigue Risk Management by Sarah Booth, Research Manager, Clockwork Research, a non-aviation related firm specialized in fatigue management education. Booth said we live in a sleep-deprived society, and shift workers are on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of sleep quality. The percentage of people who can sleep less than 6 hours a night and be unimpaired is zero percent,.meaning we are all affected somehow. A Recent study showed that sleep loss cost the economy between two and three percent of GDP for a country, including poor quality of work, increased errors, impact on memory, long term sickness, etc. This also leads to difficulties in recruiting shift working staff (very applicable to ATC). After introducing the subject of sleep deprivation, Sarah moved on to the EASA current (for pilots) and future (for ATCOs) fatigue regulation. She went on to show how fatigue should be assessed and mitigated, highlighting that in the EASA fatigue regulation for ATCOs, there are no defined numeric limits. Each ANSP must model and approve their own fatigue management system. She said each ANSP is free to develop their own rostering scheme. Although they should try to reduce fatigue, they surely will not eliminate it. This symposium was a very interesting day, and the 60 professionals who attended all went home having learned something about the other side. It was an excellent idea to revive those pilots-controllers symposia that GATCO and BALPA used to organize in the 80s and 90s on an annual basis. y



z Opinion

ATM FOR TILTROTORS: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS z by Oliviero Barsanti, IFATCA Representative to ICAO Flight Operations Panel (FLTOPSP)

The history of aviation has seen many technologies developed and matured by the military prior to their introduction into commercial service such as jet propulsion, flyby-wire flight controls, and composite primary structures. Today, tiltrotor technology follows a similar path. The Bell Boeing V-22 has been used successfully by the military for over 10 years, and now, the Leonardo Helicopters AW609 is on the verge of certification for commercial use. The speed, range, and VTOL capability of the V-22 tiltrotor revolutionized military missions like combat search and rescue, medical evacuation, and long-range ship to shore transportation. The AW609 likely will similarly revolutionize commercial SAR, EMS, and offshore oil and gas transportation. The AW609’s use in civil operations should

While the first commercial civil tiltrotor activity is expected in 2019, the technology and operational regulations remain on the horizon. ICAO is developing guidance material for tiltrotor aircraft, and this guidance will be issued soon. Some questions and concerns may arise within the Air Traffic Management (ATM) community on how to integrate tiltrotor activities into usual aircraft management and on how to interact with tiltrotor flights. This article was jointly drafted by Leonardo Helicopters and the Italian Air Traffic Controllers Association ANACNA aims to provide answers to these points. It is intended as guidance material only. The material with-

1. Departure Q&A

gines running, will it be possible to ask tiltrotors to speed up? If so, up to what speed?

1.1. Start-up Questions

A: 20-30 knots

Q: Is there any difference in start-up time between helicopters or airplanes startup and tiltrotors?

Q: With regard to airport design, can a tiltrotor’s maximum dimension be used in the same way as an airplane’s wingspan or is there the need to add some rotating tip effects?

A: No. Start-up times are comparable to those of modern helicopters and aeroplanes. Q: Can tiltrotors use the same helipads as helicopters?

A: There is no need to add a factor to make a tiltrotor’s maximum dimension when compared with medium and large aircraft.

A: In general, yes. In accordance with the ICAO guidance material, tiltrotors may use helicopter helipads based on the tiltrotor’s maximum dimension which is equivalent to a helicopter’s “d” value.

Q: A tiltrotor’s propellers can be set on different positions during taxiing. Could this produce undesired or higher than actual known vortexes (higher than those already known for helicopters of equivalent size)?

1.2. Taxi Questions

A: No.

Q: Should ATM expect tiltrotors to taxi on the ground or hover like a helicopter?

Q: Is there any other different behaviour during taxiing from other aeroplanes or helicopters?

A: Ground taxi will be the preferred way to taxi. Hover taxi will be possible as well, but not recommended due to localised down-wash. Q: In case of ground taxing what speed will the tiltrotor normally use? A: 10 knots Q: As in some airports, runway crossing is required to be as fast as possible with additional requirements such as keeping all en30

enable true point to point travel and help reduce congestion at busy airports.

A: No. 1.3. Roll and Take-off Q: Does rolling on runway for take-off require the same length as aeroplanes? What is a typical runway occupancy of the AW609 in time/distance? A. Less than 15 seconds/Less distance (200-300 meters)

in has the sole purpose of providing information on the differences between tiltrotor and conventional aircraft from an Air Traffic Management perspective for awareness only. The data given is based on experience from the AW609 tiltrotor, when other tiltrotors begin operating this material will require review. Whilst this material may be used to give suggestions on the way to manage tiltrotors or to provide guidance and best practice, in no way does it supersede existing national or international regulation on the affected environment and matters.y

Q: Can a tiltrotor roll for take-off be considered as Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) operation? A: Yes. Q: Can take-off be performed vertically from a Helipad (VTOL) and horizontally (STOL) from a runway? A: Yes but limits are placed on VTOL takeoff weight. If a high weight is present a STOL may be the only possible procedure. Q: During a take-off roll, is the vortex generated by tiltrotor consistent with its wake turbulence category (equivalent sized helicopter) or is there any additional vortex area to be considered? A: The vortex generated is consistent with its wake turbulence category. Q: What is the minimum height at which tiltrotors may convert from VTOL/Conversion mode to Aeroplane mode? How long does the conversion take? A: It depends on the take-off procedure used (Performance Class 1 or 2). In general there is no need to rush to complete the conversion to aeroplane mode since the airspeed and climb rate achieved in airplane and VTOL/conversion mode overlap for some time during a standard departure profile. Minimum height to begin conversion will be 15 feet during take-off in Performance Class 1.


z opinion

2. In Flight Q&A

A: Around 8,000 feet according to gross weight.

2.1. Climb

2.3. Descent

Q: What is the average vertical and horizontal speed of a tiltrotor during climb?

Q: Is the Top Of Descent (TOD) and subsequent vertical speed consistent with other airplanes?

A: In Airplane mode 160 KIAS and 1,0001,500 ft/m during initial climb. In VTOL/Conversion mode 80 KIAS up to 2500 ft/m. Q: Can ATC request an increase in the rate of climb of a tiltrotor? If so, up to what value? A: Yes. It depends: 2,500 ft/m 2.2. Cruise Q: Is the vortex generated by tiltrotor consistent with its wake turbulence category (that of an equivalent sized helicopter)? A: Yes. Q: What is the usual and maximum cruising altitude of tiltrotors? A: Around 20,000 ft up to a maximum of 25,000 feet. Q: What is the usual and maximum speed of tiltrotors? A: It depends on altitude and the specific tiltrotor model, but generally speaking Vcruise will be approximately 250 KTAS and maximum speed will be around 275 KTAS. Q: To what speed can tiltrotors be requested to slow down to? A: For low level cruise (up to 8,000 feet) a slow down to hover can be achieved. Above this altitude the tiltrotor is an airplane mode and therefore can be slowed down to the standard minimum airspeed (130 KIAS [C-12 type]). Q: In case of such a request from ATC, how long does it take for a tiltrotor to slow down from cruising speed to hovering (or to the minimum speed)?

Q: What is the landing speed of a tiltrotor? A: For a rolling landing, around 40 Knots. Q: Can a tiltrotor land both vertically on the helipad and horizontally on the runway? A: Yes.

A: Yes.

Q: What is the runway minimum occupancy time after landing?

3. Arrival Q&A

A: No additional time required companies with other aircraft.

3.1. Approach

4. General Q&A

Q: When Instrument final approach (IAF) has been initiated, how far from the touchdown zone of the runway should ATC expect a tiltrotor to start slowing down and converting to its desired landing configuration? A: Before IAF an initial conversion will be made to 50 degrees conversion angle and 140 KIAS (no later than FAF); after MAP conversion will be made to 75 degree conversion angle and the speed reduced to less than 90 KIAS. Q: During an instrument approach, which is the most suitable altitude/height to brake the approach and go towards a helipad? A: The final portion of an instrument approach will be flown in VTOL/conversion mode (conversion angle less than 50 degrees with a maximum speed of 140 KIAS). The approach can be flow down to standard minima and after MAP perform a final speed reduction (if not performed before) to proceed to the helipad. Q: Is the vortex generated by tiltrotor consistent with its wake turbulence category or there’s the need for additional spacing from following traffic during the approach phase? A: It is consistent. 3.2. Landing

A: It will be consistent with a helicopter.

Q: What is the final approach speed of a tiltrotor?

Q: What is the maximum altitude that a tiltrotor can reach in VTOL/Conversion mode when moving and hovering?

A: It depends on the nacelle configuration used but it will be similar to modern helicopter speeds during final approach.

Q: According to its profile, tiltrotor might be flown similarly to a helicopter. Would it be feasible to allow a tiltrotor to comply with less-restrictive helicopter requirements (e.g. visibility minima)? A: Yes. Q: In general, will a tiltrotor be managed over and around airports more in a helicopter configuration or more in airplane mode? A: Managed as a helicopter. Q: In the intent of providing Air Traffic Service Providers and officers with tiltrotor traffic management guidance material, please add any other suggestion, data, or information that could be of use. A: In all critical phases of flight a tiltrotor can be managed as though it is a helicopter. More specifically: • During take-off, up to 1,500 feet AGL approximately, can be considered to be a helicopter. • From 1,500 feet AGL on departure to 1,500 feet AGL before landing or holding pattern included, can be considered as an aeroplane. • On final approach as a helicopter. • For fuel planning and weather minima as a helicopter. • Emergency procedures will be handled as a helicopter in VTOL/conversion mode. y

z Definitions: (left) Airplane Mode: A configuration with the proprotors on the down-stop and set to cruise RPM. (center) VTOL/ Conversion Mode: Means all approved configurations (gated proprotor positions) and flight modes where the design operating proprotor speed is that used for hover operations. Note that the term ”Helicopter Mode“ is not used, to avoid confusion as helicopter mode implies a configuration where the proprotors are fixed at 90 degrees. This configuration is used for stable and very low speed hover only. Angles greater than 90 degrees may be used for hovering backwards at low speed. (right) Maximum Dimension: The largest overall dimension of the tiltrotor (rotors turning), equivalent to “D Value” for a conventional helicopter.






It is easy to be a drone user in Croatia Increased use of RPAS/UAS systems and the number of RPAS/UAS users and their operations in airspace represent a significant challenge for the whole aviation community. This change mostly has affected air navigation service providers. Croatia Control (CCL) recognized this coming trend and the distinctive characteristics of the new RPAS/UAS users, and started to integrate them into air traffic management in 2016 by developing a concept and then developing a functional web-based airspace management tool. The tool was envisaged as a means for informing airspace users about all relevant events, by applying the regulations and flexible airspace management principles at the same time. The AMC Portal was launched in June 2017. What is the AMC Portal? The AMC Portal is a web-based airspace management tool developed by Croatia Control’s experts. It provides relevant information to all airspace users in real time and enables direct communication between all airspace users and the ATM and ASM organizations. By providing targeted information, it gives users an opportunity to make reservations of airspace by directly submitting a request and communicating with the ASM


organization. The tool is adapted for use on a wide variety of computers and mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets (Android & iOS). A step forward – INTEGRATION Through the cooperation of all competent services (CCL, Croatian Civil Aviation Agency, Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia), the national legislation in the field of RPAS/UAS flying has been changed to enable a more flexible and faster process of approving RPAS/UAS flights for the user, by automating the approval process, when possible from the safety perspective. Simultaneously with the change of legislation began the creation of the AMC Portal Mobile – a mobile application for the existing AMC Portal – the implementation of which was a prerequisite for automating the approval process. The AMC Portal Mobile applications for iOS and Android became free for download by all airspace users in the Republic of Croatia as of January 2019. Now, the AMC Portal and the AMC Portal Mobile are IT solutions which have made it possible to fully integrate RPAS/UAS operations into the national ATM system in

a safe manner. That integration has led to automating the mass use of small RPAS/UAS systems in Croatian airspace in a safe manner and by reducing the workload of the competent services and the ATM system. They have gained a real-time insight into the real location and current activities of RPAS/UAS systems, as well as the possibility to communicate directly with each currently active RPAS/UAS user via the AMC Portal. If necessary, it is also possible to stop individual or group activities in a given area in case of unforeseen events. The AMC Portal and its applications represent a powerful tool which has integrated all airspace activities and given its users a unique overview of those activities. Learn more information at amc.crocontrol. hr.


z CORPORATE MEMBER FEATURE z Image: Module Roster one of the three interconnected modules.


z by Dragutin Miholić, VIBE SOLUTION LTD VIBE is a tailor-made human resource management system for ANSPs. It was created for the Croatian ANSP, Croatia Control by the EDGE Group, a company with 25 years of experience in T&A and HR. Development of the VIBE software begins 2013. Croatia Control has remained a partner in the project. Since 2013, the software has remained in development and acquired new features. Today, VIBE is a complete HR solution for ANSPs, and its submodules can be strongly tailor-made for each ANSP. Using their VIBE profile, ATCOs can check their competencies, a timeline of assessment lists, and other data necessary for their everyday work. ATCOs also can check rosters and authorizations, get real time automated warnings about the expiration of licenses and ratings, perform all the necessary procedures to renew the expiring licenses, and perform other essential activities with a few clicks. Supervisors can improve safety and efficiency by quickly in real time monitoring their personnel.


VIBE is a modular solution which contains three modules and few submodules. The INFOBOARD MODULE is the basic module for informing personnel. It can reduce the need for face-to-face briefings. All the critical information is sent electronically, and the supervisors are able to check which personnel are briefed and ready to work on a dedicated sector at any moment. It also improves the quality and efficiency of faceto-face briefings when they are necessary. Employees can send only the messages which are of concern to them, all according to their ratings and dedicated unit. The ROSTERING MODULE allows simple but advance planning of shifts for a large number of employees. It automatically calculates working hours and sends warnings if the hour limits are exceeded. Each employee can easily check his schedule, as well as the schedule of his colleagues according to the unit they are assigned. Every change in the roster is immediately available to everyone with appropriate clearance, and, if the change has been made, all

employees involved in this change can get an immediate notification through the VIBE system, by e-mail and/or text. With the COMPETENCY MODULE, everything is done electronically, so it reduces the need for paper in the training or refresher process. The VIBE system also creates statistical and graphical reports about employee performance during the whole procedure. Filled forms are immediately available to all employees, who have the necessary security clearance for each document (OJTI, trainee, licensing department, etc.). This module allows the easy export of ready-to-print ATCOs authorization reports. It contains advanced CBT (Computer Based Training) with submodules TOC (training of competency), which is useful for active ATCOs, and UTP (unit training program), which is useful in the SATCO training process. The competency module meets the requirements of the EU2015/340 AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS’ LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION regulation. Learn more at





During the recent government shutdown in the USA, which resulted in ATC having to work without pay, we heard disturbing reports of controllers taking on Uber drives before or after shifts. It seems the situation is even worse for pilots, with some now taking their side-business a little too far. We understand that many of them still need to pay off flying school, but we wonder whether the Uber or Lyft app will get you through security… Although we guess it is not too surprising: Uber is German for “above” and Lyft of course refers to the force that keeps an aircraft in the air!

Lucky, Lucky, Lucky

Earlier this year, a Chinese Airlines called “Lucky Air” sued one of its passengers for US$20,000. The 28-year old passenger didn’t think that the airline’s name was enough and during boarding, he threw a handful of coins into the airplane engine “for good luck”. In doing so, he pissed off the other 162 passengers on the flight and, probably more importantly, the local authorities who promptly threw him in jail for 7 days. It’s apparently the fourth such incident in recent years in China, though it is the first time it didn’t involve a superstitious granny on her first ever airplane trip.

ACARS Discretion

There was a time when pilots would have to relay messages to their operations department via radio: passengers needing wheelchairs are warning them of any problem with the aircraft that needed tending to during the turnaround… Today, they use ACARS – the airborne-equivalent of WhatsApp. It’s a whole lot more discrete and allows better specification of what the actual issue is. In this case, it probably gave the operator the chance to go and find some extra detergent/disinfectant.

Fish or Chicken

A South African Airlink Embraer ERJ-135 on a flight from Botswana to Johannesburg (South Africa) was climbing through 7000ft when a rather large bird seems to have decided to take on this intruder into his territory. It collided head on with the unfortunate aircraft, taking out most of the avionics bay and the co-pilots uniform. The co-pilot complained to the cabin, saying that “he specifically asked for the fish, not the chicken." y



Profile for IFATCA

IFATCA - The Controller - April 2019  

IFATCA - The Controller - April 2019  

Profile for ifatca