The latest issue of the Controller magazine, the quarterly publication of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Associations (IFATCA), is Green!
In this Green issue for December 2008, IFATCA clearly details the many environmentally-friendly contributions that controllers have made in the past, the ecology-centred procedures that controllers are now practicing and the future plans that will enable controllers to implement even more efficient and effective measures to mitigate the emission problems. The environmental lobby has harshly criticised the air transport industry for its lack of action and planning to reduce the more than 3% of global carbon emissions that come from aircraft operations, while the international airlines too have been vociferous in their condemnation of inefficient air traffic control procedures, blaming cooperative controllers for not reacting to the climate change issues. With this publication, IFATCA takes the opportunity to get our message across to the airlines, the environmentalists and the general public. Our job requires that we give due regard to ecological issues, and, of course, as people we care about the planet too. But the focus of the air traffic controller is to ensure a safe, efficient and expeditious service in a philosophical construct in which safety is non-negotiable. This experience as front-line operators provides a perspective that must be taken into account to ensure that all future procedures properly address all competing interests; this is not happening at present. IFATCA is acutely aware of both the financial and environmental pressures that airlines are currently experiencing and we will continue to cooperate and coordinate with all parties to ensure the efficiency of the service our members provide whilst striving to improve the level of safety. We, therefore, hope that this issue of the Controller achieves the purpose of raising the level of the debate by taking into account other relevant perspectives. At the end of your reading you too will agree that in addition to being safe and efficient, air traffic controllers are also green we always have been and always will be. IFATCA is the worldwide organization representing more than fifty thousand air traffic controllers in 133 countries. Amongst its goals are the promotion of safety, efficiency and regularity in international air navigation and the protection and safeguarding of the interests of the air traffic control profession.