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INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ORGANIZATION PROFESSIONAL CAREER FOR AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS GUIDE Prepared by the Grepecas

INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ORGANIZATION

PROFESSIONAL CAREER FOR AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS

GUIDE

Prepared by the Grepecas ATC/TF3 ATS Professional Career Task Force

Panama, 26-30 March 2001

Part 1

Introduction

1.1.

Purpose

1.2.

Study methodology

1.3.

Scope

1.4.

Background

1.5

Contents

Part 2

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Description of the Professional Career

1.4.1.

Profile of the air traffic controller

1.4.1.1.

Profile characteristics

2.2

Medical requirements of the career

2.1.1.

Physical requirements

2.1.2.

Psychological requirements

2.3

Summons and selection

2.4

Formal training

2.5

The instructor

2.6

ATC laboratory

2.7

On-the-job training (OJT)

2.8

Verification of efficiency

2.9

Refresher courses

2.10

Familiarisation flights

Part 3

3.1

Levels of the professional career

3.2

Operational controllers

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3.3 Non-operational controllers

Part 4 Working Conditions

4.1.

Working hours, shifts

4.2.

Work and rest plan

4.3.

Overtime

4.4.

Vacation

4.9.

Medical leave

4.10.

Up-to-datedness and competence

4.11.

Remuneration

4.12.

Professional security

4.13.

Retirement and Pension

Part 5 Physical working conditions Part 6 The human element

6.1. Psychological aspects that affect the profession

Appendices

Appendix 1

Regulation of the career

Appendix 2

Remuneration of ATS personnel

Appendix 3

Training in CNS/ATM systems

Bibliography

Part 1

Introduction

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Over the years, aviation has demanded from experts many hours of study after an accident investigation with a view to improving procedures, efficiency, quality, equipment, etc. and thus guarantee the safety of air operations.

In this respect, the improvement of the working conditions of Specialised Aeronautical Personnel has been suggested and recommended, among other things, on a number of occasions.

Summarising each and every one of the recommendations presented in those reports would be an endless task, as would trying to implement all of them; however, we believe that ignoring them would be even worse.

Under the guidance and direction of ICAO and its prestigious Planning and Implementation Group, Grepecas, we submit to your consideration this Guide, which is intended to reconcile in an elementary way all of the aspects that affect the performance of Air Traffic Control directly or indirectly from the technical, operational, and administrative standpoints.

1.1.

Purpose

1.1.1

This document has been organised basically to provide States with a conceptual frame of

reference on the general aspects involved in the profession of air traffic controllers, in order to offer practical guidance for standardising the provision of this service under more safe conditions, providing the States with criteria for improving working conditions and thus the safety and efficiency of air traffic control services.

1.2.

Study methodology

1.2.1

The methodology used to attain these objectives was based primarily on a review of the

various documents published by ICAO, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), IFATCA and FAA, and of specialised journals, together with documents prepared by the various countries participating in this task force, which helped us to clarify the general concepts and ideas that are an integral part of this work. It was also based on the results of surveys sent out to the twenty-two (22) States in the CAR/SAM Regions.

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1.3.

Scope

1.3.1

On the threshold of a new century, the specialists responsible for ensuring the safety of

aircraft flying our airspaces feel the pressing need to clearly define those aspects that regulate the profession and everyday tasks in a Control position.

1.3.2 The importance of this recognition and, even more, the implementation of administrative

recommendations, will help to ensure the mental peace that is so sorely needed by air traffic controller s

to carry out their tasks.

1.3.3 We are aware that this document does not lay to rest some of the matters that are of concern

to us; nevertheless, we hope that it will serve as a frame of reference, above all in those States and especially in those units where Air Traffic Control specialists, equipped with few working tools yet facing many needs, have the daily responsibility of safeguarding air operations without seeking recognition at some point of their professional careers.

1.3.4 It is for that reason that with great expectations we set out some recommendations to improve

the working conditions of these technicians (specialists) and at the same time to deal comprehensively

with pressing basic needs (physical, medical, operational, and wage-related, among others).

1.4

Background

1.4.1

Significant developments throughout the history of air navigation, have been evaluated by

various international meetings in the NACC, Caribbean, and South American Regions.

1.4.2 The States represented at those meetings, aware of these needs and of the lack of a significant

and guiding proposal, allowed the GREPECAS ATS Subgroup to study and propose a document that would serve as a guide for States in standardizing the air traffic controller career, bearing in mind the human factors and the implementation of the no longer so new CNS/ATM systems.

1.4.3 The main objective is to improve the quality of the services being provided today by unifying

technical, operational, and administrative aspects with a view to maintaining them over the years.

1.5.

Contents

Part 1

 

It includes the purpose of the Manual, the methodology used for its preparation, its scope and

contents.

Part 2

1.

Description of the professional career

2.

Profile and characteristics of the air traffic controller

3.

Medical requirements for the career

4.

Summons and selection

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5.

Formal training:

a) The instructor

b) Theoretical contents of the training

c) The laboratory

d) On-the-job training

e) Verification of efficiency

f) Refresher course

g) Familiarization flights

Part 3

Defines the professional career levels for air traffic controllers in the operational and non- operational groups, describing the tasks and requirements for each group.

Part 4

Describes the main factors that define the working conditions. It contains aspects dealing with work hours, shifts, work and rest plan, overtime, vacation, up-to-datedness and competence, remuneration, professional security, retirement, and pension.

Part 5

Describes the characteristics that the air traffic controller’s workplace should have.

Part 6

The human element

Not only the

body, but also the mind and the circumstances surrounding human beings in all acts of their lives -- precisely, their world—--are present in all arts, trades or professions, whether manual or intellectual, independent or dependent.

The human being, as Pichon Riviere once said, is "body, mind, and world."

The intense and chronic stress to which the ATC is subject is damaging to the body and reveals itself in the form of physical and/or psychological disease, and poor performance.

These aspects are analysed in this Chapter.

Appendices

a model ATC Professional

Career plan, a model ATC Personnel Remuneration Plan, as well as criteria to be taken into account for training in the new CNS/ATM systems.

These cover specific subjects connected with the task, such as:

Part 2

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Description of the professional career

2.1. Profile of the air traffic controller:

The set of psychological and physical traits that a candidate should have for a good performance in the career of air traffic controller.

2.1.1. Characteristics of the air traffic controller profile:

a.

Spatial skill (spatial reasoning - various tests).

b.

Visual-motor coordination

c.

Intellectual skill in understanding concepts, intelligence and reasoning test, intelligence quotient within normal or expected limits according to sex and age

d.

Skill in remembering both immediate and remote events

e.

Anxiety - IDARE psychological test (self-evaluation inventory: trait-condition)

f.

Teamwork skills (personality test, basic ATC course)

g.

Tolerance to frustration so that it does not interfere with performance

h.

Skill in exercising effective personal authority

i.

Skill in making decisions under pressure with the appropriate thinking process (hypothetical situations)

j.

Skill in paying attention to details (spatial reasoning - aptitude test)

k.

Skill in assuming responsibilities (interview/seminar)

l.

Willingness to accept criticism (personality test)

m.

Respect for authority and the rules (interviews/human factors)

n.

Skill in performing several tasks simultaneously

o.

Skill in coping with rapid changes in task assignments (adaptation)

p.

Inductive reasoning

q.

Concentration / de-concentration skills (change in routine)

r.

Resistance to stress

s.

Emotional stability (personality test)

t.

Willingness to anticipate and value possible conflicts. Capacity to foresee possible errors and conflicts

u.

Resistance to boredom

v.

Interest in the career (intrinsic motivation, vocation, and desire to get ahead within the ATC profession)

w.

Feeling of identification with the profession (mystique)

2.2.

Medical requirements of the career:

1.

Physical requirements:

(see ICAO Doc. Annex 1 – Personnel Leave, Chapter 6,

Section 6.5.).

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2. Psychological requirements:

A series of psychological tests should be administered to specifically evaluate the personality, intelligence, skills, and anxiety of applicants.

Applicants must meet all of the characteristics of the air traffic controller profile.

2.3.

Summons and selection:

2.3.1.

It is essential that the summons to all selection processes be very well prepared, making the

profession look appealing and attracting a large number of good applicants. It should emphasise the characteristics of the air traffic controller profile.

2.3.2. To participate in the selection process, applicants must have academic training equivalent to

that required to enter the university, must be proficient in the English language (the level required for

entry into any English-speaking university) and knowledge of computer technology.

Selection

criteria must be as demanding as possible in order to attract candidates with the highest potential for facing air traffic controller activities in a satisfactory manner.

2.3.3. Air traffic control is an activity in which safety and efficiency are essential.

2.3.4 The characteristics of the air traffic controller profile must be a pre-requisite in the selection

process, especially when testing for general knowledge (that which the individual States wish to require)

English, and medical and psychological condition.

2.3.5. After completing these tests, the applicant must be evaluated in a personal interview by a

board made up, inter alia, of controllers trained in selection methods and procedures and a psychologist

trained in or familiar with all aspects of air traffic control.

2.3.6. During the interview, the board should analyse aspects such as motivation, adaptation,

flexibility, determination, social skills, hearing capacity, ease of speech, ability, attitude, and adaptability to changing environments.

2.3.7. It is important, once the selection process is over, to involve candidates in the traffic control

environment through familiarisation courses and visits to different units.

2.3.8.

Selection is a dynamic process and thus must be adjusted as technological changes occur.

2.4.

Formal training:

2.4.1.

The purpose of training air traffic controllers is to ensure that controllers have the knowledge,

skills, and experience they need to perform their duties safely and efficiently in order to meet national and international air traffic control standards.

2.4.2. The efficiency and effectiveness of a training system is affected by a number of factors, such

as proper selection, well-designed courses, motivated and trained instructors, appropriate training aids, and an effective period of on-the-job training.

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2.4.3. Any training process will benefit from clear objectives. The existence of a definite

training period with well-defined stages will help students to determine their learning pace and note their

progress in each stage. By using the objectives with a logical progression, students will be able to observe their achievements and thus increase their motivation.

2.4.4. By the end of the training stage, the controller should know and understand:

a.

How an ATC system operates.

b.

The meaning of all the information presented.

c.

The tasks to be performed.

d.

The rules, procedures, and instructions that are applicable.

e.

The forms and methods of communication within the system.

f.

How and when to use each item supplied in the workplace.

g.

Human factor considerations applicable to ATCs.

h.

The ways in which responsibility for an aircraft is accepted and transferred from one controller to the next.

i.

The ways in which the work of various controllers is harmonised so that they support rather than obstruct each other.

j.

What changes or signs could be an indication of a deterioration or failure of the system.

k.

Aircraft performance characteristics and preferred manoeuvres.

l.

Other factors that affect flights and routes, such as: weather conditions, restricted airspace, noise abatement, etc.

m.

General knowledge of airport infrastructure and the airspace.

o.

The importance of the reception, transmission, and coordination of information.

2.4.5. Training courses should offer students the benefits of teamwork. Competition helps in

the training and contributes to the development of social skills. Individuality in air traffic control does

not exist; those unable to work with their peers and

for air traffic control . Students must develop a sense of identity with their group and this will increase their motivation.

who do not tolerate their behaviour are not suitable

Aerodrome

Control, Approach Control, and Area Control. Radar procedures should be included as part of the training when so required.

2.4.6. Air traffic control training can be divided into three main stages, namely:

2.4.7. The way the training is carried out will depend largely on the State’s airspace structure and

its users. The training should last long enough to meet the requirements set out in paragraph 2.4.4 and

those established by the States.

2.4.8. Similar training programmes should be used for civilian and military controllers.

2.4.9. Controllers should be taught to plan the service and to cope with any “situation “ that could

arise by using their knowledge and skills in the best way possible.

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2.4.10. A direct consequence of any significant change made in the ATC system should be a careful

redefinition of the controller’s knowledge, skills, and procedures.

2.4.11.

Prior to the implementation of these changes, controllers should receive the respective

training

2.5

The instructor:

2.5.1.

The air traffic control instructor should be specialised, qualified in training techniques, and

duly certified by the State.

2.5.2. Instructors must be competent and dynamic working controllers, who are willing to train and

who trust in their own skill in being able to deal with the traffic situation through another person, teaching that person the working techniques, while keeping general control over the situation.

Note: Each State shall decide upon the necessary requirements to be fulfilled in order to consider an instructor a competent working controller.

2.5.3. The position of instructor should not be permanent; nor should it seen as the end of the

controller’s career. Instructors need to be operational and keep abreast with operational and technological

changes in air traffic control and general aviation.

2.5.4. In organising training courses, instructors should use the ICAO Training Manual, Part D-2, in

conjunction with Annex 1 and the Technical Assistance Guide.

2.6.

The ATC laboratory:

2.6.1.

Laboratory exercises should be simple and do not need to include all the procedures in detail.

It should include the area, navigation aids, traffic examples, and basic procedures. In this stage, the basic air traffic control principles, as well as techniques for safely controlling a certain number of aircraft should be taught. Exercises should be increasingly intense until the desired level is reached.

2.6.2. The laboratory reinforce the skills of students and gives them a chance to analyse their

behaviour, as well as individual decision -making in order to improve teamwork. Furthermore, the laboratory helps the instructor determine which areas need more work. It is in this stage that students’ weaknesses can be corrected before they become habits.

2.6.3. Any laboratory is safer than an operational experience.

should be provided, in which mistakes can be made that can not be tolerated in a real life situation.

For that reason, an intensive training

2.7.

On-the-job training:

2.7.1.

An efficient training organisation should use qualified trainers and supervisors and remain in

constant communication with the training unit in order to keep track of the students’ performance.

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2.7.2. Progressive on-the-job training may include, as initial objectives, the filling out and

handling of flight progress strips, proper phraseology, routine skills, etc. Subsequently, basic techniques for aircraft control under conditions of little traffic and conflict detection would be added, finally getting to more complex traffic situations, expeditious conflict resolution and traffic control.

2.7.3.

An important factor for trainee controllers is their acceptance into the group by the other

controllers.

2.8.

Verification of efficiency:

2.8.1.

Before implementing an efficiency verification system, suitable facilities should be in place

for additional training when so required.

2.8.2. From the viewpoint of training, when an efficiency verification system is created with a view

to its subsequent implementation, all personnel that will be affected should receive training in the purpose

of the system, its goals and the way it will be managed.

2.8.3. Efficiency verification specialists must be chosen and trained in order to reach a common

level of efficiency.

2.8.4

Controllers who fail to attain the required level of efficiency should be given a chance to be re-trained as need.

2.9.

Refresher courses:

2.9.1.

The training of controllers does not end when their basic training is completed; controllers

should be given refresher courses every two years and take familiarisation flights annually.

2.9.2. Likewise, whenever new equipment and procedures are introduced, controllers should receive

the respective additional training.

2.9.3. Training should serve not only to learn new concepts and the proper methods for the new

system, but also to discard previous learning, since a completely clear understanding and mastery of the

new concepts prevents the use of inappropriate methods.

2.9.4. Controllers

knowledge and skills to use and these are checked and modified according to the needs.

should

receive

regular

refresher

and

update

courses

where

they

put

their

2.9.5. In order to obtain the best and most efficient performance from controllers, it is important to

periodically monitor the behaviour and attitude of individuals in their professional career. To this end, a

psychological support programme must be established to give controllers the necessary assistance to perform their duties in the best possible way.

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2.9.6 The establishment of a psychological support programme is even more important when

controllers have been involved in some incident or accident that could have a negative effect on their job performance.

2.9.7

Controllers that have been involved in an incident or accident should undergo a re-training

programme.

2.10.

Familiarisation flights:

2.10.1

The purpose of familiarization flights is to give controllers, supervisors, and air traffic

services personnel the opportunity to observe at first hand the work of pilots; different types of aircraft

and their departure, en-route and arrival procedures, and the work of other ATC units. This means creating an optimum criterion when issuing actual concepts that can improve the service.

2.10.2 The main objectives of refresher courses should be: to give controllers a fuller knowledge of

the national and international ATS system so that they may have an overall understanding of the organisation , system processes and control techniques; and to strengthen the pilot/controller relationship to create an environment of co-operation that will result in a safer and more efficient service.

2.10.3. States should establish familiarisation flight programmes for air traffic controllers. Use of the

jump-seat should be coordinated with the airlines, visits to the respective air traffic units should be

arranged for with the States and expenses (per diems) covered.

2.10.4. The length of the familiarisation will depend upon:

a) the duration of the flight; and

b) the visits to ATS units.

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Part 3

3.1

Levels of the air traffic controller’s professional career:

3.1.1

The professional career of air traffic controllers is divided into two groups: operational and non-

operational.

3.1.2. Performance in each category requires the necessary studies, practice, licence, certification, as

well as the experience required by each State.

3.2

Operational controllers

3.2.1

Operational work is defined as the performance of tasks through which the controller

exercises the licensed right in an operational environment.

3.2.2.

Operational work includes Aerodrome Control, Approach Control, Area Control, Radar Control, and Supervision.

3.2.3.

For supervisory positions, at least five years of work experience in the unit, together with

supervision or administration courses are recommended.

3.3.

Non-operational controllers

3.3.1.

Non-operational work is described as the performance of those tasks that do not require

controllers to use their licensed privileges (theoretical instructor, research, planning, etc.).

3.3.2. Non-operational tasks include training, procedures, planning, quality control, heading units,

and heading ATS.

3.3.3. For the non-operational group, more than five years of experience in supervision or ten (10)

years of experience as operational controller are recommended, together with the appropriate courses for each of the fields.

3.3.4. States should establish levels of professional competence according to the complexity of the

units, and take the following factors into account:

1)

Volume of traffic

2)

Diversity of traffic

3)

Geographical conditions

4)

Navigation aids

5)

Weather conditions

6)

Airport infrastructure and airspace structure

7)

Other factors

Part 4

Working conditions

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4.1.

Working hours, shifts:

4.1.1.

Work shift cycles should be based on having at least two (2) consecutive days free per week.

4.1.2.

Work shifts that include night work should have a morning, afternoon, and night rotation

system.

4.1.3.

Consecutive night shifts are not recommended.

4.1.4.

Shift systems should not include night work on the same day a morning shift ends.

4.1.5.

At least thirty hours of rest are recommended after working a night shift.

4.1.6.

With alternate shifts, there should be no more than three consecutive morning shifts per

week.

4.2.

Work and rest plan:

4.2.1.

Operational time and its resting periods should not exceed thirty-two hours a week.

4.2.2.

Each daytime shift or shift of intense activity should not exceed eight hours including rest

time.

4.2.3.

At least twelve consecutive hours of rest should be provided for between shifts.

4.2.4.

Operational controllers should spend no more than two consecutive hours at work and this

period should be reduced to 90 minutes for controllers working in a radar environment. This operational time can be reduced according to the amount of traffic being handled.

4.2.5. Controllers should have at least one (1) hour for meals in the morning and evening shifts and

40 minutes in the case of shifts of less than 8 hours.

4.2.6.

Controllers working night shifts should have at least one (1) hour of rest for every four hours

of work.

4.3.

Overtime:

4.3.1.

Overtime is defined as operational or non-operational work or a combination of the two

performed outside regular working hours and will result in an increase in the controller’s operational time.

4.3.2. Overtime should be voluntary and should be resorted to only in special situations.

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4.3.3. In the interests of aviation safety and of the controller population, overtime should be

considered an undesirable method and should be avoided.

4.3.4. The State should ensure and provide for a sufficient number of personnel in light of the

adverse effects of long working hours, considering human limitations.

4.3.5. States should keep sufficient personnel to ensure that the air traffic system operates with the

highest efficiency, without detriment to the labour rights of controllers.

4.3.6. A combination of overtime and night shifts increases the risk of fatigue on the part of the

controller because resting periods are reduced, as is the possibility of making up hours of rest.

4.4.

Vacation:

4.4.1.

Controllers should enjoy annual vacations of at least thirty working days, without counting

holidays, and of which three weeks should be consecutive.

4.5

Medical leave

4.5.1

When a psychologist certifies that a controller presents a high level of stress or tension that

affects the performance of his/her duties, said controller may take medical leave without losing any of

his/her labour rights.

4.6.

Up-to-datedness and competence:

4.6.1.

Controllers involved in collateral tasks like training, supervision, administration and

development of new systems, must put in a certain number of hours of operational work to keep up-to- date.

4.6.2. The State should establish a minimum number of non-operational hours per category for

controllers engaged in air traffic service-related jobs.

4.6.3. The minimum number of operational hours should be as required for the volume of work

involved in each position.

4.7.

Remuneration:

4.7.1.

The remuneration in the air traffic control profession is justified by its requirements and

responsibilities, and should not be limited to the practices of other organisations.

4.7.2. Equal pay for equal work is justified in terms of the tasks and responsibilities involved.

4.7.3. The remuneration of air traffic controllers should acknowledge the exclusive nature of their

profession and the responsibilities involved in it, as well as reflect skills and experience, which should be directly related to the type and amount of the appraisal.

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4.7.4. It should also reflect employment condition according to publication IS CO-88 of the

International Labour Organisation (ILO), in which air traffic controllers are included in the same category as aircraft pilots, vessel officers, and other similar professionals.

4.7.5. The level of complexity of the units in which controllers work should be taken into account in

setting the amount of their remuneration.

4.7.6. When a controller is assigned additional tasks, this fact should be reflected in a higher level

of remuneration.

4.8.

Professional security:

4.8.1.

In the course of their careers, air traffic controller are constantly exposed to the risk of losing

their licenses, medical qualifications or technical capacity. In order to avoid such risk, appropriate measures should be established in their benefit, such as: appropriate medical services, physical maintenance programmes, psychological assistance programmes, updating training, and refresher courses

to help controllers maintain their health and required skills.

4.8.2. Inasmuch as the chances of air traffic controllers being re-employed by the civil service are

very slim because of their specialisation, the State should maintain and cover the cost of an insurance against license withdrawal and/or second career programmes.

4.8.3. Career advancement courses should be offered to train controllers in non-operational air

traffic control administrative positions.

4.8.4. They should also be given the opportunity to take courses to prepare them to work in

government positions or, if requested by the controllers themselves, in positions outside the government.

4.8.5. If the State were to hire a private company, it would be very important for re-employment

possibilities to exist.

4.9.

Retirement and pension:

4.9.1.

In view of the unique and exclusive nature of the air traffic control profession and in the

interest of air safety, controllers should be granted retirement at an earlier age than that set by the State for

other civil servants.

4.9.2. Retirement age should be set through nation-wide negotiations that take into account the

physical and psychological demands and the stress involved in the profession.

4.9.3. The legislation should be accompanied by a retirement programme that allows controllers to

receive pension benefits equal to those received at the age of compulsory retirement.

4.9.4. The recommended retirement age should be 50 or after 25 years of service.

according to the demands of the new CNS/ATM systems.

This could vary

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4.9.5. The possibility should exist for retirement from active control work before reaching the

recommended retirement age for controllers, with pension rights proportional to those of the compulsory retirement age.

4.9.6. Controllers who leave operational control yet continue to work in the ATC environment

should maintain their retirement rights.

Part 5

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Physical working conditions

5.1. It is very important for controllers to have an appropriate work environment and the

necessary equipment and materials for the best possible performance of their duties.

5.2.

The workplace should offer safety and comfort, as well as protection against weather

conditions.

5.3

The design of the controller’s physical work environment should be as optimum as possible

in terms of decoration, lighting, temperature, noise level, visual display, and other requirements . (See

ICAO Circular 241-an/145.)

5.3.1. Controllers should be provided with appropriate equipment that will contribute to their ability

to see and communicate with aircraft, their colleagues, other ATS units, maintenance personnel, and other aviation agencies or bodies.

5.4. Before implementing new technologies, controllers should be involved from their initial

specifications to the operational stage.

Note:

Most mistakes and their consequences are largely the result of aspects related to system design (facilities, equipment, software, physical environment) and for that reason the system should be designed in such a way as to eliminate or minimise the possibility of error.

5.5.

The design of the building housing the ATC workplace should be properly planned from the

beginning to meet all system requirements as well as the controllers’ obvious needs.

5.6. The layout of the control rooms and booths should be designed to accommodate all the

working staff and possible visitors, with sufficient room to avoid causing distraction and nuisance to controllers.

5.7. The ATC workspace includes all facilities, available supplies, software, equipment, and

environment and therefore their design should be based on appropriate ergonomic principles.

5.8. Work consoles and boards should be laid out to provide for maximum flight monitoring

capacity so as to facilitate access to and the expediting of information, as well as the controllers’ ease in getting around without bothering adjacent colleagues.

5.9. The State should provide air traffic control units with well-equipped lounges in order to

reduce the presence of stress-provoking agents. (It is important for these lounges to be located outside the control units.)

5.10.

In addition to the necessary operational areas, a briefing room and a locker room should also

be available.

Part 6

The human element

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6.1

Psychological factors that affect the profession

6.1.1.

The effects produced by air traffic control activities, such as stress, boredom, overconfidence,

complacency, and fatigue should be kept in mind when designing or making modifications to the system

(changes in ATC procedures, environment, and conditions).

6.1.2. Studies reveal the existence of problems of stress, fatigue, anxiety, and loss of motivation

which affect the performance of controllers. Therefore, the means must be sought to prevent, diagnose,

and control these manifestations.

6.1.3. The intense and chronic stress to which air traffic controllers are exposed deteriorates their

health and is manifested in conditions like high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, nervous problems, among others. Thus the importance of implementing psychological, medical, nutritional, and physical conditioning programmes to counteract the negative effects of stress.

Note:

Failure to fulfil the necessary optimum conditions for the good performance of air traffic controllers significantly increases the negative effects of stress.

6.1.4.

There are other elements such as boredom, complacency, overconfidence, fatigue, and loss of

motivation that are involved in the human factor and which affect the controllers’ good performance. More attention must be paid to these elements and appropriate corrective measures taken to deal with them.

6.1.5. Because of the unique nature of the work, a watchful attitude must be taken, irrespective of

the traffic flow involved. It is the air traffic controller’s responsibility to be aware that boredom, complacency, overconfidence, fatigue, and loss of motivation may at a given moment increase the possibility of error.

6.1.6. In order to minimise the harmful effects of boredom, fatigue, etc., at least one additional air

traffic controller should be assigned to each control position on each shift, depending upon the volume of traffic and the characteristics of the facility involved.

˝

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APPENDIX 1

REGULATIONS FOR THE PROFESSIONAL CAREER IN AIR TRAFFIC SERVICES

I.-

GENERAL INFORMATION

Art. 1

This Plan regulates the functional career of the States’ Air Traffic and Air Navigation Services personnel.

Art 2

For purposes of this Plan, the following concepts are adopted:

1. Air Traffic Services:

Generic term that is applied, as pertinent, to flight information,

warning, air traffic advisory, and air traffic control (area control, approach or aerodrome

control) services.

2. Air Traffic Services Unit:

Generic term that is applied, as pertinent, to an air traffic

control unit, a flight information centre, or an air traffic services briefing office.

3. Aeronautical station: Aeronautical Mobile Service ground station.

4. Aeronautical Mobile Service:

Mobile service between aeronautical stations and aircraft

stations or between aircraft.

5. Operational Council:

A permanent committee created to discuss and evaluate ATC

performance for promotion purposes.

II.-

ON SELECTION AND ADMISSION

Art. 3

Only natural born or naturalised citizens can be accepted into the staff of officials.

Art. 4

The selection and admission of personnel at all levels shall be done only through nation-wide skill contest.

Art. 5

Natural born or naturalised citizens with training abroad may participate as candidates in the admission contests, provided that their training is duly recognised by the States.

Art. 6

The conditions and requirements for the contest shall be disseminated in the written press, radio, and television duly in advance.

Art. 7

The (State) may recruit, without contest, specialised personnel for specific tasks on a temporary basis and for the necessary period of time, provided that such position within its staff of officials is not already filled by a certified professional.

Art. 8

For admission purposes, the selection examination(s) shall have a validity of … month(s) as of the date of publication of the results.

Sole paragraph:

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The selection contest may be repeated only after … year(s) if there is still a candidate from the previous contest who was approved but not admitted.

Art 9

Admission into the institution’s staff of officials is verified through the formal act of appointment and runs as of that date, provided that the Regulations for Selection and Admission are fulfilled.

Art. 10

The trial period before the admission is formalised, when applicable, shall not exceed … days as of the starting date of regular appearance at the workplace.

Art. 11

The trial period for a person being readmitted after having rendered services previously in the institution shall not exceed … days, as of the starting date of regular appearance at the workplace.

Art. 12

Students enrolled in recognised teaching institutes and who are taking training courses for State personnel, are considered to be in a special situation and are not part of the institution’s staff of officials.

Art. 13

In order for the graduates of recognised teaching institutes to be admitted,, pursuant to Art 9, their entry into such institutes must have been in compliance with the stipulations of Arts. 3, 4 and 6 of this Plan.

III.-

ON FUNCTIONAL LEVELS AND CATEGORIES

Art. 14

The Career Plan for Air Traffic Services personnel is classified into four functional levels and twelve functional categories:

1. Functional level “A”, subdivided into: (if applicable)

Level A-1: ARO/AMS Assistant. Level A-2: TWR/ACC Assistant Level A-3: APP Assistant.

2. Functional Level “B”, subdivided into:

Level B-1: ARO/AMS Official Level B-2: TWR/ACC Official. Level B-3: APP Official.

3. Functional Level “C”, subdivided into:

Level C-1: ARO/AMS Supervisor. Level C-2: TWR/ACC Supervisor. Level C-3: APP Supervisor.

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4. Functional Level “D” subdivided into:

Level D-1: TWR/ACC/APP/AMS/ARO Section Head Level D-2: TWR/ACC/APP/AMS/ARO Department Head (if applicable) Level D-1: Air Traffic Manager (if applicable).

IV.- ON TRAINING, SPECIALISATION, AND ADVANCED COURSES.

Art. 15 The Departments or Sections that are interested in Air Traffic Services will establish the guidelines for personnel training, specialisation, and advanced training in coordination with the teaching institutes in each State.

A- ON TECHNICAL-PROFESSIONAL TRAINING

Art. 16

The admission of students into the teaching institutes in each State to take specific

personnel training courses for the different air traffic service units should be in keeping with this Plan and the Regulations for Selection and Admission.

Art. 17

When selected candidates have taken courses (OJT) in teaching institutes abroad , the State shall provide an apprenticeship prior to their admission.

Art. 18

The apprenticeship (OJT) shall be considered as part of the trial period provided for in Arts. 10 and 11.

Art. 19

The apprenticeship (OJT) referred to in the previous article will last no less than …. days and will deal with technical and operational aspects of air traffic services.

Art. 20

Upon completing the training or apprenticeship, if admitted, the official will enter the:

FUNCTIONAL LEVELS AND CATEGORIES, AS APPLICABLE (ART 14)

 

1)

Level “A – 1”; AMS/ARO Assistant.

2)

Level “A – 2 “;TWR Assistant

3)

Level “A – 3 “; APP/ACC Assistant

 

B.-

ON SPECIALISATION

Art. 21

The States, through their Civil Aeronautics Bureaus, will provide the conditions so that the personnel, during their initial careers, may attend specialisation courses and undergo apprenticeships designed to meet the needs of the Air Traffic Services.

Art. 22

At the request of the Civil Aeronautics Bureaus, States shall offer upgrading courses for those activities for which no specific specialisation courses are available, provided that they are necessary.

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Art 23 Any course or apprenticeship that lasts four weeks or more and deals with the technical and operational areas is considered specialised training, provided that the relevant certificate is issued at the completion and that it is considered to be of interest to the Air Traffic Services of the States.

Art. 24

The following courses offered in the country or abroad can be considered specialised training, as described in the previous article:

 

1)

In the Air Traffic Control area:

 

a) Aerodrome control.

b) Area and conventional approach control.

c) Basic radar operation.

d) Area and radar approach control.

e) Airspace structure/Terminal area procedures.

f) Air traffic supervisor.

g) Training techniques.

h) Advanced air traffic control.

i) Course developer.

j) TRAINAIR instructor.

k) Organisation and administration methods.

l) On-the-job instructor.

m) Civil aviation management.

n) Any other course/seminar that will allow the official to develop technically-administratively.

 

2)

In the Flight Reporting area (ARO)

 

a)

Flight reporting supervisor (ARO)

 

C.-

ON ADVANCED TRAINING.

Art. 25

The purpose of the advanced courses is to improve technical-operational performance and also to give management training to the personnel for taking on directorship and managerial positions.

Art. 26

The programme and conditions for the conduction of advanced courses are set out in the specific regulations.

Art. 27

As of the moment they reach Level C, officials are assured of the opportunity to take the specialisation course.

Art. 28

The following courses and seminars offered in the country or abroad are considered to be equivalent to the specialisation course stage, provided that the corresponding curriculum and certificate of completion are issued:

- 24 -

1)

ATS administration.

2)

CNS planning.

3)

CNS/ATM specialisation.

4)

Planning and evaluation of the ATC radar system.

5)

Communication systems.

6)

Data transmission network.

7)

Civil aviation statistics.

8)

Financial management of civil aviation and others.

D.-

ON THE PERIODS OF SERVICE.

 

Art. 29

The ideal periods of service that regulate the career flow in each category are as follows:

 

1)

In functional category A – 1: 2 years

2)

In functional category A – 2: 2 years.

3)

In functional category A – 3: 2 years.

4)

In functional category B – 1: 2 years

5)

In functional category B – 2

2 years

6)

In functional category B – 3: 2 years.

7)

In functional category C – 1: 2 years.

8)

In functional category C – 2: 2 years.

9)

In functional category C – 3

2 years

10)

In functional category D – 1

2 years

11)

In functional category D – 2: 2 years.

12)

In functional category D – 3: 3 years.

Sole paragraph: For personnel starting their careers at Functional Level A-3, the periods stated in this Article become A-3, 3; 3; 3; 3; 2; 2; 2; 2; 2; 2; and 3 years, respectively.

Art. 30:

The time of permanence in the functional categories, as established in Art. 29, cannot exceed by one (1) year the following periods:

1)

In functional level A (A–1, A-2 and A–3): 7 years

2)

In functional level B (B–1, B-2 and B-3): 7 years

3)

In functional level C (C-1, C-2 and C-3): 7 years

4)

In functional level D (D-1 and D-2):

5 years

Sole paragraph: For personnel starting their career at functional level A-3, the periods mentioned under 2, 3 and 4 are extended to: 9 years, 9 years and 7 years, respectively.

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VI.- ON PROMOTIONS

Art. 31 Promotions will always be processed based on time of service, respecting the following requirements: Specialisation, advanced training, period of service in each functional category, physical and professional aptitude, suitability, and good sense of discipline.

Art. 32

For promotion to functional categories A-2 and A-3, the official, in addition to meeting the requirements stipulated in Art. 48, must have successfully completed the basic courses corresponding to each area covered by this plan.

Art. 33

For promotion to Functional Level “B-1”, the official, in addition to meeting the requirements stipulated in Art. 48, must have successfully completed at least one specialisation or advancement course, as established in Art. 24.

Art. 34

For promotion to Functional level “B-2”, the official, in addition to meeting the essential conditions stipulated in Art. 48, must have successfully completed a specialisation course specifically on the specialities corresponding to air traffic , CNS, at an advanced level, and ACC, TWR, APP, ATS planning, and airspace structure, respectively.

Art. 35

Promotion to Category “B-3” in the air traffic sector is conditioned not only to compliance with the essential conditions foreseen in Art. 48, but also to the successful completion of the course on Conventional or radar approach control in the respective specialisation branch.

Art.36

For promotion to Functional Category “C-1” , in addition to meeting the essential conditions stipulated in Art. 48, the official must have completed a course on supervision for the corresponding unit or area.

Art.37

Promotion to Functional Category “C-2” will be assured to those officials who have

successfully completed the courses

on supervision , and comply with the stipulations of Art.

48.

Art.38

For promotion to Functional Category “C-3”, the requirement in Art. 48 must be met, and the official must have completed the course on supervision corresponding to the sector.

Art.39

For promotion to Functional Category “D-1”, the requirement concerning period of service in the previous functional category must be met, on the basis of two criteria: time of service and academic merit. Furthermore, a third specialisation or technical updating course must have been completed, as established in the article.

Art.40

Promotion to Functional Category “D-2” will take place as provided for in Art. 48.

Art.41

Promotion to Functional Category “D-3” will depend upon completion of the required period in the previous functional category, on the basis of two criteria: time of service and merit.

- 26 -

Art.42

For each promotion based on time of service, three promotions based on merit shall be processed,whichshallbeselectedfrom a list prepared by the Civil Aeronautics Bureauand supplied by the Operational Council.

Sole paragraph:

It is the responsibility of the Civil Aeronautics Bureau to designate the official with the highest technical and professional concepts from among those to be promoted.

Art.43

The Civil Aeronautics Bureau will formalise the promotions, which will be announced at least once a year.

Art.44

Vacancies for promotions are the result of the need to make expansions,

renewals, and replace

ments in the staff of officials, and of the Organisation and Personnel Chart, retirements, deaths and resignations.

Art.45

Upon completion of the maximum period of service for each functional level, as stipulated in Art. 30, officials shall automatically be promoted to the immediately higher functional level, irrespective of vacancies.

Art.46

If an official meets all requirements and is overlooked for promotion, he/she shall be promoted in compensation for the omission, effective as of the day his/her time of service was overlooked.

Sole paragraph:

This article shall not be applicable in the case of failure to be promoted to functional level D-3, when such promotion is based on merit, in compliance with Art. 42.

Art.47

Officials temporarily alienated from the service may not be promoted even if they fulfil all the conditions and meet all the requirements stipulated in these regulations.

Sole paragraph:

All officials on personal leave or serving in another area unrelated to their specialisation where these regulations are not applicable are, for promotion purposes, considered alienated from service.

Art.48

The prerequisites for promotion are as follows:

1. Time of permanence in the functional categories.

2. Physical aptitude.

3. Professional concept.

4. Disciplinary concept.

5. Certification of the relevant functional category.

Paragraph 1

The time of permanence in each functional category is that stipulated in Arts. 29 and 30.

- 27 -

Paragraph 2

Physical aptitude is evaluated

through a medical examination carried out by

competent bodies recognised by the State.

Paragraph 3

The required professional concept is that the official should have a good level of skill, suitability, precision, and performance in the discharge of functions,, together with initiative and dedication to the profession.

Paragraph 4

The required disciplinary concept is that the official should have a proper behaviour in the workplace and the surrounding environmen t.

Paragraph 5 The official will obtain the certification corresponding to the speciality of the functional category to which he/she is being promoted, in accordance with ICAO Annex 1 and each State’s Regulations.

Art.49

The Deputy Director/Manager/Department of Human Resources of each State will periodically prepare a list of the officials who meet the requirements and establish the number of vacancies to be filled, as stipulated in Art. 44.

Paragraph 1

The lists of officials to be promoted will be prepared together with the controllers’ representative specifically appointed for this purpose.

Art.50

Directorship and managerial functions shallbe performed by officials of functional level “D”, and preferably those having taken Advanced Civil Aviation courses.

Art.51

The maximum time of permanence in the last level of the functional career is … years.

Art.52

For officials promoted from one functional level to another, skipping one or two levels, the time of permanence shall be equivalent to that corresponding to the level or levels skipped.

Paragraph 1

If an official is promoted from functional level “A-2” to functional level “B-2”, the levels skipped would be A-3 and B-1; as a result, the length of time to be considered would be that corresponding to the levels plus the time of permanence of the functional level to which he/she is promoted (2, 2 and 2 years, a total of six years).

Paragraph 2

Considering that stated in the previous paragraph, applied in similar cases.

the same criteria shall be

Art.53

In the specific case of technical - operational personnel, they will not be allowed to carry out functions without the corresponding license issued by the State.

Art.54

Any cases not covered in this Plan or open to interpretation will be resolved by the Civil Aeronautics Bureau based on the opinions of the sectors involved, when applicable.

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APPENDIX 2 REGULATIONS ON ATS PERSONNEL REMUNERATION

1-

GENERAL INFORMATION

Art. 1

These Regulations contain provisions on the remuneration of Air Traffic Services officials, which includes salary, bonuses, as well as other rights.

Art. 2

The following concepts are adopted for purposes of these regulations:

 

1) Organisation and Personnel Chart: it is the document that will specify the staffing, by speciality and area, needed to carry out the specific tasks of each sector of the Air Traffic Services.

2)

Aggregated:

it is the situation of an official who is temporary alienated from the personnel

 

chart.

2-

ON REMUNERATION

Art.3

The salary is the basic part of bills payable inherent to the functional category in activity.

Sole paragraph:

The salary of officials cannot be reduced; it is not subject to discounts or

garnishment, save in the specific cases established by law.

Art.4

The right of officials to their salary starts on the date of their appointment or promotion.

Art.5

Officials shall temporarily cease to receive a salary in the following cases:

 

1-

When on private leave.

2-

If they abandon their job.

Art.6

The right to receive a salary ceases on the date officials cease to be a part of the service for the following reasons:

 

1-

Transfer to inactivity

2-

Death

3-

Exclusion for disciplinary reasons

4-

Voluntary resignation.

3-

ON BONUSES

 

Art.7

Bonuses are that part of the salary attributed to officials as an incentive for peculiar professional activities and working conditions.

- 29 -

Art.8

Officials in effective service shall be entitled to the following bonuses:

 

1-

Functional bonus.

2-

Specialised certification bonus.

3-

Organisational compensation bonus.

Art.9

Bonuses shall cease to be paid to officials:

1-

In the cases provided for in Art. 5.

2-

When removed from the job due to professional incapacity.

3-

During unjustified absences.

Art.10

The right to receive bonuses shall cease in the cases specified in Art. 6 of these Regulations.

Art.11

Bonuses shall be calculated based on the value of the salary that effectively corresponds to the official’s category.

A-

ON FUNCTIONAL BONUSES

Art.12

Officials are entitled to a functional bonus when performing directorship, managerial and supervisory activities, as per the following percentages:

1-

Manager

10%

2-

Head of area

8%

3-

Head of department

6%

4-

Supervisor

4%

B-

ON SPECIALISED CERTIFICATION

Art.13

The specialised certification bonus is granted to officials for the training, specialisation and advanced courses taken as a prerequisite for promotion in their functional careers.

Art.14 The training, specialisation, and advanced courses that win a bonus for technical and operational specialities should be carried out in keeping with the standards of the Training Management, in coordination with the component areas or departments.

Art.15

The specialised certification bonus shall be paid in the following percentages:

1-

For Functional Level “A”

4%

2-

For Functional Level “B”

6%

3-

For Functional Level “C”

8%

4-

For Functional Level “D”

10%

Sole paragraph:

The right to the GRE is assured as of the day officials enter the functional levels, except for the GHE of functional level D”D, which will be paid when the official successfully completes the advanced civil aviation course.

- 30 -

C-

ON THE ORGANISATIONAL COMPENSATION (GCO) BONUS

Art. 16.

The GCO is compensation for the continued performance of activities that are wearing on or detrimental to the human body, and the following percentages apply:

 

1-

5% of the respective salary for performance of the following activities:

a-

Radar operation.

b-

AMS operator.

5-

OTHER RIGHTS

 

A-

ON PER DIEMS

Art. 17

Per diems are a subsidy to cover travel, transfers, installation, food, and lodging expenses.

Art. 18

Per diem is assigned to officials who must leave their workplace for reasons of the service, and shall be paid in advance according to the legislation of each State.

Art. 19

For the payment of per diem to ATS officials, the “Standards on Per Diem” and transfer expenses, with their respective levels, shall be applied.

B-

ON FAMILY ALLOWANCE

 

Art. 20

Family allowance is the subsidy that officials receive to cover part of the cost of the education and care of their children.

Art. 21

Family allowance shall be adopted pursuant to the laws of each State.

Art. 22

Family allowance shall be paid for children under the age of seventeen.

Sole paragraph: If a couple separates,

the family allowance will go to one or the other or will

 

be divided between the two, according to the number of children under their care or guardianship.

Art. 23

Family allowance is not considered part of the salary, for purposes of determining the thirteenth salary or year-end bonus or social security deductions.

Art. 24

The family allowance cannot be reduced or subject to embargo.

- 31 -

C-

ON THE THIRTEENTH SALARY (YEAR-END BONUS)

Art. 25

Officials shall be paid their thirteenth salary or year-end bonus within the corresponding year, on the basis of their full remuneration, excluding their family allowance.

Art. 26

Officials who have not worked a full year shall receive one-twelfth of their year-end bonus for each month worked.

6-

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 27

Any cases that are omitted from these Regulations or that are open to interpretation shall be resolved by the Civil Aeronautics Administration of each State on the basis of the opinions of the parties affected, when applicable.

Art. 28

The salary value shall be set for each functional category on the basis of the salary for functional category “D-3”.

Paragraph 1

When budgeted salaries need to be supplemented, , in applying the stipulations of this Article, the net budgeted amount shall be taken into account.

Paragraph 2

For fractional calculations of salary, bonuses and per diem, the thirty-day (30) commercial month shall be taken into account.

Art. 29

When and if the government decrees a salary raise or the repayment of salary losses, the salaries of ATS officials will be raised an equivalent percentage and according to the previous article.

Art. 30 Whenever the students at recognised teaching institutes take courses of interest to the Civil Aeronautics Bureau, they shall be considered in of a “special status” and may receive a school subsidy for the duration of the course, at the rate to be set by the Civil Aviation Administration.

Art. 31

The remuneration to which deceased officials are entitled shall be calculated up to the day of their death and shall be paid to their beneficiaries.

˝

- 32 -

APPENDIX 3

1. CRITERIA TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT

SYSTEMS:

FOR TRAINING IN THE NEW CNS/ATM

A.

Know the origin and evolution of the CNS/ATM concept.

1.

Establish the limitations of the current system.

2.

Know the measures approved by the ICAO Council.

3.

Know the measures adopted by the FANS Committee.

B.

Know the new communication systems

1.

Describe the basics of the data link components.

2.

Know the CPDLC specifications.

3.

Know the fundamentals of the AMSS

4.

Understand ATN concepts

5.

Understand the use of the DCPC

6.

Know the basics of the AIDC

7.

Understand the use of SATCOM

8.

Know and apply the contingency plan

E.

Know the new navigation systems

1.

Know the components of the GNSS (GPS-GLONASS)

3.

Know and use the augmentation systems (ABAS, SBAS and GBAS).

4.

Know and apply the contingency plans.

F.

Know the new surveillance systems

1.

Know the basics of ADS (ADS A/B)

2.

Understand the principles of SSR-mode S

3.

Know and apply the RDR/ADS/Manual procedures

4.

Know and apply the contingency plans

G.

Know air traffic management

1.

Know the objectives of ATM

2.

Describe the purpose of the ASM

3.

Know the functions of ATM

4.

Understand and apply the Free Flight concepts.

- 33 -

5. Know and apply the contingency plans.

Bibliography

• ICAO Annex 1 – Aeronautical Personnel Licensing.

• Doc. 9426 - AN/924.

• DINAC 01, Aeronautical Personnel Licensing.

• Career Plan for Air Traffic Services Personnel presented by the Paraguayan Association of Air Traffic Controllers (ACTAP).

• “Anteproyecto de Ley de Controlador de Tránsito Aéreo Panameño”, Ricardo Rodríguez, 20/Oct/1995.

Claudio Dutary and

• Stress in Air Traffic Control.

Report of the Regional Meeting of the International Federation of

Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA, Aruba 1994).

• Need to Regulate the Profession of Air Traffic Controller; “The Route of the Future,” Panama, October 1995.

• Meeting of Experts on Problems Related to Air Traffic Controllers – International Labour Organisation, Geneva, May 1979.

• ICAO Circular 241-an/145 Compendium on Human Factors, Number 8.

• Human Factors for Air Traffic Control Specialist:

Cardosi Ph. D. et. al.

A user's Manual for your Brain.

Kim M.

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ATC/TF/1/1999.

• Training Manual on Human Factors (DOC 9683-AN/950), ICAO., First edition 1998.

• "I.F.A.T.C.A. Manual Part 4. Professional Policy", I.F.A.T.C.A., 1999

• "DE -Skilling the Profession", Executive Council of ATC Officers, TRANSMIT Magazine, Issue

1, 1993.

- 34 -

• "F.A.A. ATC Specialist, recruitment, selection and training", F.A.A. Academy, TRANSMIT magazine, 2, 1993.

• "Human

Error

-The

Risk

Factor",

TRANSMIT Magazine, Issue 3, 1993.

Swiss

Reinsurance

Company

(Aviation

Department),

"Active Control", Flight International Magazine, TRANSMIT Magazine, Issue 4, 1993.

• "A.T.C., The Human Touch", Aerotech '94, TRANSMIT Magazine, Issue 2, 1994.

• "Right First Time ", Air Traffic Control Management, September-October, 1998.

• "Familiarization Flight and ATC Unit Visit Program", The Controller IFATCA Journal, Volume 29, 1990.

• "Managing the human elements of ATC", The Controller IFATCA Journal, Volume 30, 1991.

• "Second Meeting of the ATC Professional Career Task Force", GREPECAS ATS Subgroup

ATC/TF/2/2000.