20 October - International Day of the Air Traffic Controller

The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Associations (IFATCA) was founded through an abiding passion for air traffic control that continues to exist in the hearts and minds of all air traffic controllers.
The response to the idea of a federation was immediate and universal. From its founding on 20 October 1961 IFATCA has grown to 133 member associations representing 50,000 air traffic controllers worldwide. The culture among controllers is that the job will be done no matter the circumstances, no matter the working conditions. This air traffic controller ethic is at the core of the safest and most efficient means of transport that is air travel. Equipment and systems introduced over the years have helped improve efficiency and contributed to a sound and safe ATC system, but the individual controller has always been, and remains, the key element in the safe, efficient and environmentally responsible ATC network we have today. Controllers are the most flexible and adaptable element of the system, readily able to grow with continually evolving procedures, changing technical systems, and social and environmental constraints. No other "technology" is so adaptable, productive and cost effective! When we celebrate 20th of October each year, we celebrate the vision of our founding members, and we celebrate the countless volunteers who work to achieve the aims of our Federation. But most of all we celebrate the individual air traffic controller wherever he works or under whatever conditions she works, who strives each minute to give the utmost in service to the flying public , to bring you safely and efficiently to your destination. Even with a shortage of air traffic controllers worldwide, when too few air traffic controllers are being asked to handle more and more traffic without compromising our high standards of safety, and at the same time being judged on efficiency issues over which we have no control the controller ethic prevails. Today we recognise our efforts, salute our accomplishments, and renew our mission of service through an industry that is at the heart of a global community. To all air traffic controllers, be proud and celebrate your profession today!


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