GATCO has just returned from the 2017 IFATCA Annual Conference in Toronto, Canada. The delegation was formed by 6 GATCO members: Mark Taylor (Deputy President), Rob Stallard (Finance Manager), Luis Barbero (Manager Technical and Operations), Katie Mason (Executive Secretary), Jez Pigden and James Robinson. The Annual Conference is a great opportunity to meet up with other fellow air traffic controllers around the world, discuss the present and future of the profession and find out about the work of IFATCA in the last 12 months.
The conference is divided in three committees, A, B and C, each one dealing with different aspects of IFATCA and our profession. This year’s tagline was “Taking Care of Business Together”. In addition, the conference had an excellent panel of technical exhibitors with demos ranging from remote towers to spaced-based ADS-B systems.
Committee A deals with the finance and administrative matters of the federation. Mark Taylor was the secretary of this committee, Julian Ogilve (President of GATCO) could not attend and perform his role as chair of the committee. Some of the matters discussed during the conference included: the election of some EB members, the acceptance of Kosovo, Honduras and Mozambique as members of IFATCA and the confirmation of Accra (Ghana) as the location for the 2018 conference.
The UK continues to be member of the Admin and Finance committees for the next 12 months.
Committee B deals with the technical and operations matters of the profession, work carried out by the Technical and Operations Comittee (TOC) during the year. There, Luis Barbero was representing the UK as member of TOC, Rob Stallard took part in the presentations as the IFATCA representative in the ICAO RPAS Panel and James Robinson was, once again, the secretary of Committee B. The main topic in this committee was RPAS, in particular, the need for a regulatory framework that covers the operation of high-level and low-level RPAS in segregated and non-segregated airspace. The discussion highlighted the need for air traffic controllers to be actively involved in any RPAS-related activities be it from ANSPs or regulators.
The UK will not be member of TOC for the next 12 months but Rob Stallard continues to be the IFATCA representative in the ICAO RPAS Panel and Luis Barbero moves to be the IFATCA representative in the ICAO ATM Ops Panel.
Committee C deals with the professional and legal matters of the profession, work carried out by the Professional and Legal Committee (PLC) during the year. Katie Mason was representing the UK as member of PLC and also as chair of the Communications Steering Committee. The main topic in Committee C this year and also the subject of an IFATCA panel during the conference was “Duty of Care” and how that affects our professional decisions, our licence obligations and also our legal accountabilities.
The UK will not be member of PLC for the next 12 months but Katie Mason continues to be Chair of the Communications Steering Committee of IFATCA.