IFATCA 2030+ – Asia/Pacific

The IFATCA Asia Pacific region comprises 19 Air Traffic Controller Associations of diverse cultures. In this survey, we received survey replies from 15 Member Associations (MAs) including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as well as 5 more individual answers from the same association.

Focus on the region

Majority of the MAs (94.4%) agreed that the Federation should focus on the regional level in the future. Despite its global representation of Air Traffic Control Officers (ATCOs), the regional differences and specific needs and demands should be taken into account in the process of decision making and delegation at the level of the entire Federation. In support of the idea of having more focus on the region, 76.5% of the MAs were in favor of having a separate regional TOC and PLC, which should comprise members from the regional countries, with representation from the EB as well. The respondents believed that the formation of such committees would address regional-specific issues more efficiently, resulting in more direct policy implementation and impact on the operation. However, there was also the consideration of the lack of experts and delegates in the region, which could be a problem in establishing such committees. Some MAs also expressed their concern that limiting primary contact to specific regions first would lead to further fragmentation of the existing global ATM network. As stated in the questionnaire, instead of focusing on the regional level, a quick response to emerging issues and combined approach was to bring all regions and MAs, as well as their ATM airspaces and systems to similar levels. This was also crucial to create a globally safe and efficient network.

Conference and meetings

For the global and regional meetings, half of the MAs were satisfied with the current duration of the meetings (which is usually 3-4 days) and considered that longer meetings could result in less participation. One solution offered was instead of increasing the duration of meeting, hosting online meetings prior to the conference or increasing the frequency of the meeting could be a smart and simple solution to conduct more productive meetings. Most MAs found global and regional meetings as the best way to build their network and to get updates on the latest development of ATM. Some of the main takeaways for conference participants included being able to bring new information back home, as well as having the opportunity to learn from peers. In terms of meeting format, hybrid meetings were preferred. MAs who want to network can attend the meeting in person, while those with time or resource constraints can participate online.

Regional issues

The main concerns of the Asia Pacific region included ATC training, lack in human resources, FRMS, political influence over the industry and financial issues including salary and other incentive matters, similar to most other regions.

Increase in membership fee

There is a potential need to increase membership fees if the Federation wants to consider hiring new talents and bringing in experts into the field. However, 66.5% of the respondents (which is approximately 10 MAs) expressed their objection at increasing the current membership fee. Some MAs were willing to pay more for membership fees (up to 5% increase) in return for more workshops, training and other professional programs organised by the Federation.

Regional participation in IFATCA work

As a non-profit and non-political organisation, the Federation’s work operates on a volunteer basis. Thus, active participation of supportive volunteers is crucial for consistent operations. 62.5% of the survey respondents stated that they somehow participate in the work of the Federation for the purpose of global networking and knowledge sharing. However, some key findings from the survey indicated that financial constraints, staffing and time commitment made it difficult to encourage volunteering in the Federation’s work. Some MAs attempted to encourage their members to participate in IFATCA activities by providing financial support and official leave for the annual world conferences and regional meetings. However, it may be difficult for other MAs to provide such support internally due to the budget and workforce constraints. An observation indicates that if the Federation has a reliable financial support system for its volunteers, it might result in an increase in volunteerism.

Information availability

On the knowledge of IFATCA policies and manuals, 68.8% of the survey respondents were familiar with the current policy editions. A further 56.25% out of all responses found it easy to gain access to IFATCA information. However, the survey also indicated that there is still room for improvement in sharing such information. Possible solutions include making short videos or advertisements about IFATCA work, or making the information available on other social media platforms.