24TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Athens, Greece, 18-22 March 1985
WP No. 8
Study on the Correlation Between Compensation for Loss of Licence, Early Retirement Programme, Medical Checks, Proficiency Checks and Conditions of Employment
A paper on this subject was presented by SC4 to the IFATCA 84 Conference at Estoril. That conference decided to add one item to the proposed subjects to be correlated – Conditions of Employment. As a part of this work, SC4 is of the opinion that IFATCA Policy on relevant subject should reflect the ILO Conclusions for Air Traffic Controllers.
SC4 is discussing this subject carefully at each meeting and is gathering information from MAs, as we believe that this study is of vital interest to all Air Traffic Controllers.
The following pages contain a summary of existing IFATCA Policy on relevant subjects together with the ILO Conclusions, which are relevant to the same subjects. The last pages contain the new proposed IFATCA Policy combining existing policy and the ILO Conclusions. SC4 is willing to continue this study if so directed by the Conference.
Compensation for Loss of Licence
“ For disability due to factors other than age, insurance against loss of licence should be instituted as an addition the premium should be paid by the employer .”
ILO: – Conclusion No. 2 Tripartite Tech. meeting 1977
“ Personnel subject to licensing requirement should be covered by adequate measures, which may be at the employers expense, designed to prevent loss of licence. This protection should include the availability of appropriate medical services and training facilities to assist the person concerned in maintaining the required health and skill standards. In the event of loss on medical grounds of licence which includes medical standards, such measures should also include provision for income protection, such as adequate loss-of-licence insurance and retirement or early retirement pensions, in accordance with collective agreements, national laws or current practice. Opportunities for retaining and redeployment should also be available to workers who lose their licence .”
ILO: – REC. NO. 50
“ Throughout his career the ATCO is exposed to the concrete and constant risk of losing his licence on grounds of medical or technical incapacity, there by ceasing to be able to exercise his profession and thus losing his livelihood. Since the number of suitable and meaningful posts for re-employing the ATCO within the civil service is rather limited in view of his specialized background, training and experience, employer-sponsored loss of licence insurance schemes and employer- sponsored second career programme should be encouraged for ATCO’s in all countries, more particularly where ATC is run by a private company and where re- employment possibilities are thus even more difficult to obtain. If the ATCO is to be re-employed after he has lost his licence, he should be given thorough retraining for his new post .”
Early Retirement Programme
(Note: The early retirement policies were amended in 1994 by WP 138)
i) At the age of 50 a controller shall cease from active control.
ii) A controller in active control may retire after 20 years of service.
iii) Early retirement legislation must be accompanied by an adequate pension scheme.
iv) There should be an early retirement scheme for Air Traffic Controllers and all pension arrangements should be such as to produce such benefits as if service had continued to normal retirement age .”
ILO: – Rec. NO. 29
“ The principal of an early age of retirement should be recognized for ATCO’s in view of the peculiarity of this profession and in the interest of air safety. This early age of retirement should be determined by negotiations at the national level between the employer and the ATCO trade union and/or such other representative organizations .”
ILO: – Rec. NO. 30
“ The requirement for retirement at an earlier age than that of other employees should enable ATCO’s to receive pension benefits as if service had continued to normal retirement age, the method of assessment of such benefits to be the subject of negotiations between the employer and ATCO trade union and/or such other representative organizations .”
“ The medical requirement for ATC employment must be stated by the appropriate ATC authorities and should be based on the criteria laid down in Annex 1 to the ICAO Convention.
Local medical centers should be established for the examination of ATC personnel. A National Medical Body should be established as the Central Authority for determining questions of fitness of controllers whose fitness is questioned by the local centers.
Controllers should be afforded recourse to examination by independent medical specialists of their choice where permanent medical unfitness is indicated by earlier examination.
The cost of the examinations should be borne by the ATC authorities .”
ILO – REC. NO. 35
“ A system of initial and regular follow-up medical examinations specifically for ATCO’s is essential in the interest of safety. Such a system should be geared to selection, and be capable of: detecting any medical deficiencies in ATCO’s before or during their ab initio training; providing for a thorough and regular monitoring of the ATCO’s health throughout his career; detecting any deterioration in his health as early as possible; and preventing such deterioration wherever possible. Such a system should include aptitude tests specifically developed for ATC requirements.
The ATCO should be entitled to have his medical file forwarded to his own physician at the latter’s request. Statistics should be taken and evaluated by each national authority of the medical standards of the ATCO profession, and it would be desirable that these statistical results should be collected by ILO in co-operation with WHO and published annually .”
“ The results of proficiency checks should be treated confidentially and management involvement should only be necessary in case of negligence or on recommendation of the appointed check controller.
The standards to be achieved and the checklist of items to be evaluated should be made available to all those concerned.
Member Associations should, together with their management, draw up a “code of conduct” which, to the greatest possible extent, will guarantee the objectivity and confidentiality of proficiency checks.
A suitable period of evaluation should take place before a system a proficiency checks is implemented.
Before a proficiency check system is implemented adequate training facilities should exist to enable further training (Guidance Mat. Cairo 81).
IFATCA is in support of Proficiency Checking System for all Air Traffic Controllers exercising the privileges of an Air Traffic Controllers Licence or an equivalent Certificate of Competency for all qualified persons engaged in the duties of ATC.
Before any Proficiency Checking System is implemented the respective MA and employer should undergo extensive negotiations and agree to resolve internal differences in respect of their own Social-Economic Situation, (which includes Retraining and Job Security) .”
ILO – REC. NO 47
“ In order to sustain the required high degree of aviation safety and the high standard and also to keep the ATCO abreast with aviation progress, it is considered essential that ATCO’s receive regular refresher courses and benefit from regular familiarization flights. The frequency of such courses and flights may be agreed upon by the ATCO trade union and/or such other representative organization and the respective aviation authority. In the interest of air safety, a system of regular proficiency checking should be established for the ATCO’s .”
Conditions of Employment
“ Member Associations should urge their national authorities to implement regulations and/or legislation to provide:
a) a specifically defined personnel statute for air traffic controllers, taking into account the outstanding responsibilities, physio-/psychological demands and strains involved to match comfortable regulations.
b) participation of active air traffic controllers through their professional associations when determining conditions of operation and/or employment.
Member Associations should make use of the ILO Conclusions in their contract negotiations with their employers, where these may be suitable.
The Executive Board should – in the interest of air safety use any means, within the Constitution and By-Law of the Federation, to assist the Member Associations in such contract negotiations to get acceptance from the authorities of the ILO Conclusions.
The Executive Board should use any lawful means to achieve, through and by the ILO, an international instrument, based on the above Conclusions or improved ones, by which aviation authorities would be encouraged to become signatories.
Relevant Conclusions from ILO.
It is recommended to Conference that the following become new IFATCA Policies on:
- Loss of Licence
- Early retirement
- Medical checks
RECOMMENDATION NO 1 – LOSS OF LICENCE
Throughout his career, Air Traffic Controllers are exposed to the constant risk of losing their licence on grounds of medical or technical incapacity.
To reduce the risk of loss of licence and/or qualifications, Air Traffic Controllers should be provided with adequate measures such as the availability of appropriate medical services, physical fitness program, training facilities and refresher training to assist the air traffic controllers in maintaining the required health and skill standards.
Since the number of suitable and meaningful posts for re-employing the air traffic controller within the civil service is rather limited in view of their specialized background, training and experience, employers should provide loss-of-licence compensation schemes and second career programmes for air traffic controllers.
Where ATC is run by a private company such establishment is even more important since re-employment possibilities are thus even more difficult to obtain.
In the event of loss on medical grounds of a licence which includes medical standards, such measures should also include provision for income protection such as adequate disability insurance and retirement or early retirement pension.
Opportunities for retraining and redeployment, with compensation for loss of income, should also be available to air traffic controllers who lose their licence.
RECOMMENDATION NO. 2 – EARLY RETIREMENT
In the view of the peculiarity and uniqueness of the profession or air traffic control, and in the interest of air safety, air traffic controllers should be awarded retirement at an earlier age than that of other employees.
Such age of retirement should be determined by negotiations at the national level. However, at the age of 50, a controller shall cease from active control.
Early retirement legislation must be accompanied by an adequate pension scheme which enables the controller to at least receive pension benefits as if service had continued to normal retirement age.
A controller in active control may retire after 20 years of service.
RECOMMENDATION NO. 3 – MEDICAL REQUIREMENT
The medical requirement for ATC employment must be stated by the appropriate ATC authorities and should be based on the criteria laid down in Annex 1 to the ICAO Convention.
The medical system should be geared to selection, and be capable of detecting any medical deficiencies in controllers before their ab initio training.
In the interest of safety a system of initial and regular follow-up medical examinations specifically for controllers is essential.
The medical system should be detecting any deterioration in the controller’s health as early as possible and preventing such deterioration wherever possible.
The medical system should be providing for thorough and regular monitoring of the controllers’ health throughout their careers.
The air traffic controller should, at their request, be entitled to have their medical file forwarded to their own physician.
Last Update: September 20, 2020