On the 27th of June 2019, The Swiss Federal Supreme Court rejected an appeal by an air traffic controller, convicted of negligent disruption of public transport by the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona, for an incident which took place in 2013 and which resulted in no loss of lives and no material damage. The incident was resolved satisfactorily by the ground-based and airborne safety nets present in the ATM system.
GATCO has written to His Excellency Mr Alexandre Fasel, Ambassador of Switzerland to the UK, expressing its concern and highlighting that the Swiss judiciary system has struck a blow at the very foundation of the aviation safety system, built over decades, by bringing and upholding a prosecution against an air traffic controller who reported a safety incident. The key element of the aviation industry’s safety reporting procedures is trust. The ability of an air traffic controller to work in a Just Culture environment, where incidents and even mistakes can be freely reported without fear of punishment or reprimand is paramount to maintaining and improving the safety of our industry.
You can read GATCO’s letter here.