The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA) is a worldwide organisation representing more than 50,000 air traffic controllers in 133 countries. IFATCA was formed in 1961 and GATCO joined a year later. The main goals of the federation are to promote safety, efficiency and regularity in international air navigation and to assist and advise in the development of safe and orderly systems of air traffic control and new procedures and facilities.

International cooperation is fundamental in the current ATM world. GATCO, as the UK member association of IFATCA, is ideally placed for the development and interchange of technical and professional information not only within Europe but on a worldwide stage. Over the years, GATCO has played a leading role within the federation, providing numerous reports and working papers. Many of these papers have formed the basis of IFATCA policy which, in turn, have been fed into International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) working groups which develop civil aviation regulations worldwide.

“In the uncertain times in which we live, my IFATCA conference experience was inspirational in many ways. The community of air traffic professionals is a worldwide family who are not separated by borders, cultures or race; we are a like-minded body of individuals who share a passion and devotion to our common cause; to understand, challenge and develop the solutions to tomorrow’s problems. The part GATCO plays at this level on the global IFATCA stage is something we should all be proud of, representing our members opinions and interests at the very highest level.” – Swanwick air traffic controller after attending IFATCA’s annual conference.

This involvement allows the views and concerns of individual GATCO members to be heard and provides the opportunity to influence worldwide aviation regulations and procedures. Additionally, many GATCO members have held and currently hold positions within IFATCA, from members of standing committees and international representatives to members of IFATCA’s own Executive Board.

Being involved with IFATCA provides a unique opportunity for controllers to take active part in the discussion and decision-making of air traffic management matters at an international and European levels, benefiting both the organisation and the individual’s career.

If you would like to get more information about our role within IFATCA and about how to get involved, email info (at) gatco (dot) org.