Clear and consistent responses are paramount when international rules are not respected

- Montreal, Canada.

While IFATCA appreciates the diligence of the safety concerns raised publicly by all European
Union (EU) authorities, in particular by EASA in their Safety Information Bulletin SIB No 2021-10
issued on 25 May, and by ICAO on the events in Belarus, our Federation would like to draw the
attention to the Albanian situation. Despite being fully aware of the circumstances that took place
early April 2021, these international Agencies have so far neglected to comment, let alone inform
the flying public or take any decisive action.

As part of a coordinated action from the Air Navigation Service Provider and the Albanian
Government to circumvent staffing issues, foreign air traffic controllers took over part of the
operations in Tirana and the airspace over Albania without the appropriate licence endorsements.
As a result, an international airport and major air routes operated well outside of accepted
international rules and regulations.

To this day, IFATCA is still tremendously concerned about the three Albanian air traffic controllers
that are held under house arrest. They face up to seven years in jail for having expressed safety
concerns, as it relates to their well-being, in line with international regulations and guidelines.
Other colleagues at the same facility still suffer duress and potential retaliation for denouncing
unsafe situations affecting part of the European Network, even though it is their constitutional
(social) right and duty as safety professionals to do so.

IFATCA would appreciate EASA clarifying the reasons for handling of the situations (Belarus and
Albania) differently regarding the safety of air navigation within the context of the EU air transport
system. The travelling public deserve safe airspace no matter the location and/or political

IFATCA respectfully expects clear and consistent support from these authorities for our Albanian
colleagues, including the three arrested and prosecuted professionals for exercising their rights,
and performing their obligations in expressing their safety concerns.


There are no comments yet for this item

Join the discussion

You can only add a comment when you are logged in. Click here to login