IFATCA 2030+ – Europe

The IFATCA European Region is comprised of 43 Member Associations. 34 of these MAs completed the questionnaire, giving a 79% response rate. This is a response rate that matched the ASP region. These 2 regions had the highest participation to the survey. This shows strong unity in the region and the importance of IFATCA to the MAs here.

Focus on the region

A majority of the respondents (66%) indicated their wish that IFATCA should be consisted of strengthened regions, together with a global focus. Some excellent suggestions were received and these generally focused on making meetings more efficient and working more closely with other global organisations. As an example of this strengthened region, replies indicate that a majority of the respondents (70%) considered a shift towards regional TOC and PLC committees with a global committee composed of the chairs of the regional ones as the way forward. Comments promoting regional committees do stress the importance of a unified global voice whereas comments promoting a global approach do acknowledge the importance of regional subjects and representation. 81% of respondents said that more importance should be given to regional issues. Some comments indicated that although IFATCA is a global organisation, the regions themselves know best what they need. More transparency between regions would ensure a better understanding on a global level. More involvement from other members of the EB (PCX/DP etc) would be appreciated. It was felt that standardisation of ATM within a region and then worldwide would be a goal that IFATCA should set itself to truly speak with one voice.

Conference and meetings

Consideration was given to both regional and annual conferences. For regional meetings, 50% of those asked replied that they thought the current length was correct and 50% replied that it should be changed. The consensus was that it should be around 3 to 4 days long in total. As for the format, respondents stated that more decision-making power should be , new technologygiven to regions as opposed to leave most decisions for the annual conference. It was also suggested that the time allotted to the regions during the annual conference should be increased. As for the meeting content, it was clear that workshops should be truly relevant, to use the time for things that are more ‘useful’ in the agenda. There is not enough focus on MA’s business, worries, progress and concerns. It was felt that there may be a tendency to allocate time to things that are often mentioned and there is not enough time for MA issues. More virtual meetings and correspondence could be used as tools to allow discussion on topics. Longer regional meetings may be too much of an economic challenge for MAs and time off to attend them would be complicated to organise. Although the subject of hybrid meetings showed a considerable 62% in favour, the associated comments tended to give more weight to in person meetings. The question of equity/ 2 tier society between members able to attend conferences and those that cannot was brought up. MAs felt that the following 5 topics were things that they thought of most importance at a regional meeting: taking information home, networking, learning from peers, latest developments, panel discussions and making a difference in their region. In order to limit the liability that MAs are exposed to during the organisation of conferences, the respondents highlighted that the annual conference could be scaled back to bare bones, sticking to one fixed venue, holding more virtual conferences throughout the year and to potentially introduce a loan scheme for MAs.

Regional issues

The MAs felt that the topics of most concern to the region included; SES, RP periods and their negative influence on working conditions, professional standards, EASA, fragmentation, new technologies, recruitment, airline lobbying, just culture and establishing best practices.

Increase in membership fee

In contradiction to the other regions, the EUR region is 55% in favour of increasing membership fees. 43% of those that stated they would be willing to pay more would be prepared to consider a 5-10% increase. This increase would be on the proviso that IFATCA would provide regular and pertinent information, consider global lobbying for the profession, support MAs with financial difficulties and employ people of talent in a support role. Of those MAs that expressed their concern over increasing fees, their suggestions included financial streamlining (reducing expenditure for the EB), that the EUR region is made up of many MAs with very different levels of income and that a real return on existing investment is completed before any discussion of fees is made.

Regional participation in IFATCA work

European MAs stated that in order to increase the feeling of social cohesion, more importance should be given to communication and coordination, IFATCA culture, the Speak English Program, activities and gadgets and meetings. 60% of the MAs that replied said that they volunteered for IFATCA work in some way. It brings them new career opportunities as this work looks good on a resumé, it increases their social well being as volunteering is important and other peers do this work too. It increased their values as the work and cause is important, they are helping others. It is seen as a way to make new friends and the volunteers feel needed. It also helps them gather new knowledge through learning more whilst exploring their own strengths. At the same time there are considerable hurdles to volunteering, these mainly focused around resources (time and money), lack of time and also a lack of support from their ANSP/ employer. Motivation could be increased through more education about how to volunteer and to reduce the feeling that they are not suitable qualified.

Information availability

71% of MAs say that they are familiar with IFATCA manuals and guidelines. However, whilst the figures look like a resounding success, the comments suggest that it may not be that clear cut. Suggestions included changing and improving the manuals and rules to make them more accessible and concise. Several comments were received that the amount of information is almost too much and needs better propagation. Video tutorials are much better perceived. E-workshops or conference briefing sessions for new MA representatives to explain how and what the Federation work is about. There should be a separate page about volunteering explaining the benefits in participation. Alerts on social media as to when new information is available on the website.