IFATCA Presents

100 Years Air Traffic Control

an incomplete history

the book

On the occasion of 100 Years of Air Traffic Control in 2022, the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations, IFATCA, commissioned a book that examines how air traffic control started and changed over the past century.

Air traffic control was not invented. It evolved out of necessity, following hindsight-realisations that aviation could be made safer and more efficient. In many cases, the trigger was one or more accidents that created a need to improve.

The book does not aim to be an all-encompassing, detailed account but looks key events that shaped our profession to what it is today.

the chapters

Before 1922

The Pre-History of Air Traffic Control


The Need for ATC


The Second War Dividend


The Second War Dividend


Reality Strikes


Capacity vs Crisis

Around the world

in numbers


order your copy

To avoid the risk and hassle of inventory and fulfilment logistics, IFATCA decided to use the Print-On-Demand network of lulu.com. Ordering one or more copies of the book is a simple process through their website.

The price of a single copy of the book is ± 30 USD. Discounts are available for 100 copies or more. This is the printing cost, i.e. there is no profit margin for IFATCA and/or the authors.

Lulu.com has various shipping options available. Depending on your country, sales tax and/or import duty may be charged.

For larger quantities, shipping to certain regions/countries may be cheaper if you split the order (e.g. 2 x 50 instead of 100 copies)

the authors

Philippe Domogala was a tower controller in France from 1971 until 1972 before moving to the Netherlands to become an en-route controller in the new Eurocontrol Maastricht UAC. From early on, he was very involved in the local professional association as well as the international federation, IFATCA. While Philippe retired from active air traffic control as Centre Supervisor in 2005, he remains a well-known and respected face amongst his colleagues from around the world.

Philip Marien began his career as an en-route controller in Eurocontrol’s Maastricht UAC in 1988. In 2001, he became the centre’s lead Incident Investigator, a post from which he recently retired. Philip was actively involved in the centre’s professional guild, its trade union, and has held various functions within IFATCA.

Over the years, both Philip(pe)s have collaborated on various projects and publications, including IFATCA’s The Controller magazine and two books on the history of the Maastricht UAC.


This book was published by the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA) on the occasion of 100 Years of Air Traffic Control. None of the information in this book constitutes any endorsement of any product, service or activity, nor can any rights be derived from the contents of this book. Whilst every effort was made to ensure that the information contained in this book is correct, IFATCA or the authors make no warranty, express or implied, as to the nature or accuracy of the information. Any part where an opinion is expressed, this is to be considered the authors’ personal view, which is not necessarily aligned with that of IFATCA.

The authors have endeavoured to include credit or source information for the images used in this publication. Where no credit is mentioned, the image is understood to be in the public domain. If you believe that an image was used without adequate credit/permission, please contact us via editor@ifatca.org

100 Years Air Traffic Control – an incomplete history © 2023 by IFATCA is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution – NonCommercial – ShareAlike 4.0 International