58TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Conchal, Costa Rica, 20-24 May 2019
WP No. 154
Report on the Information Hand Book (IHB) – 2019
Presented by the Liaison Officer to the ICAO ANC
Article I, paragraph 3, Objects, of the IFATCA Constitution specifies that the Federation shall “collect and distribute information on professional problems and developments”. To this end, the IFATCA Information Handbook (IHB) was created and contains the most up-to-date information provided to the Federation on all aspects relating to environmental and human factors in ATC.
The IFATCA Technical and Professional Manual (TPM) contains policy on the collection and dissemination of information required by the IHB (Section INFO, TPM pp. 338-344 refers). However, that section has not been updated in many years and needs some maintenance. This working paper will present an overview of the current status of the IHB and propose some editorial amendments to the TPM to address the concerns raised above.
During the previous years, the task of updating the IHB was carried by The Controller Magazine Editor, Philip Marien and more recently by former EVPP, Eric Risdon. In 2018, following the departure of Mr. Risdon, I took upon myself to modernize and update the IHB. During the last year, approximately forty (40) associations sent an updated version of their information, to be included in the IHB. While this represents a significant step towards up-to-date information, there are still a number of MAs for which the Federation has not received an update in more than twenty (20) years.
Even today, with the profusion of information available online, there is no equivalent to the IHB produced by IFATCA. Indeed, no document offers the same level of granularity when it comes to air traffic controllers’ work conditions and environment, all condensed in one document.
The IHB remains undoubtedly a valuable tool for IFATCA members, and the Federation urges its Member Associations to provide updates on a regular basis to guarantee the information remains as current as possible.
The table below presents the date of the last update to the IHB received by the Federation as of April 1st, 2019. It can be argued that information that is three years old or less can be considered “current”, information between 3 and 6 years old can be considered “old” and information dating more than 6 years shall be considered “obsolete”.
- Information older than twenty (20) years old is shown in red in the table.
- Information older than ten (10) years old is shown in yellow in the table.
- Information that is less than ten (10) years old is shown in green.
In order for IFATCA to maintain the most up-to-date database possible, Member Associations are invited to submit the most up-to-date version of their information, as required by the IHB, as soon as possible. The form can be accessed following this link; it is also reproduced in Appendix A of this working paper. In addition, the form is available on the IFATCA website, under the “Documents and Manuals” section of IFATCA-NET.
|AFM||Guinea Bissau||01-Jul-03||AMA||El Salvador||22-Oct-05|
|ASP||Papua New Guinea||15-Jan-10||EUR||Luxembourg||10-Jan-01|
|ASP||Republic of Korea||17-Oct-14||EUR||Macedonia, FYR||30-Oct-11|
|EUR||Bosnia & Herz.||30-May-07||EUR||Romania||09-Mar-18|
What stands out from the previous table is that just above 50% of the information contained in the IHB is less than ten years old. It means that a significant effort could be put in the upcoming year(s) to try to improve these numbers in order to keep the document somewhat relevant. It is interesting to note that there are only 12 MAs for which the information is older than 20 years, which is a significant improvement compared to last year.
The section pertaining to the IHB can be found in the TPM, starting on page 338 onwards. It has not been updated in nine years (last update was in Punta Cana, 2010), and new technology has now changed how and by whom the information is gathered, processed and presented. The following section will present a number of proposals for amendments to the TPM, mainly of an editorial nature, to reflect how these processes have evolved.
It is recommended that the IFATCA TPM be amended as follows:
IFATCA TPM (2018), page 339 – INFO 12.1.1
Article I, paragraph 3, Objects, of the IFATCA Constitution specifies that tThe Federation shall “collect and distribute information on professional problems and developments ”, as stated in Article I, paragraph 3 of the IFATCA Constitution.
The policy is not really a policy, but rather a reference to the Constitution of IFATCA. The proposed amendment turns the sentence into a policy, without losing the reference to the IFATCA Constitution. Additionally, it is proposed to move the rationale before the policy (for consistency); there is no need to change it, as it offers a good overview of how IHB came about.
IFATCA TPM (2018), page 340 – INFO 12.1.2
The Information Handbook should contain current information on aspects relating to professional and legal matters in ATC in the countries represented in the Federation.
It should be drafted in such a way as to enable its users to identify those MAs that may have useful information on specific professional and legal matters,
after which direct contacts with suchand should provide means to contact MAs should be establishedto obtain the desired detail ofinformation.
As ultimate goal tThe information thusprovided and usedshould help to achieve a certain standard of conditions in all MAs countries. In 1990, at the Acapulco Conference, the following recommendation was accepted: “that the first reply toProviding the information required by the IHB Questionnaire to the IHB Questionnaireshall be part of the application procedure for membership of the Federation.
These changes are mainly editorial and are intended to bring clarity to the text. In the last paragraph, the sentence is turned from a reference to the Acapulco Conference into a proper policy statement. The essence of the policy is not changed overall.
IFATCA TPM (2018), page 341 and 342 – INFO 12.1.3
The Information Handbook shall present the information by country and contain at least the following elements
presented in “country by country” format contains the following chapters:
[EDITORIAL: Remove the notion of Chapter, rearrange the presentation of the information as follows: SECTION TITLE: SUB-ELEMENTS]
The Information Handbook
isshall only be made available to professionalmembers of the Federation.
These changes are mainly editorial and are intended to bring clarity to the text. The IHB currently doesn’t contain chapters for each MA; it rather presents the information in a table, which renders the use of “Chapters” superfluous. Reorganizing the requirements per section would bring clarity to the policy.
The last sentence of the policy (on p. 342) is redrafted to include a “shall” and make it more consistent with the Federation’s policy drafting standards.
IFATCA TPM (2018), page 343 – INFO 12.1.4
Editor Information Handbook (IHB@ifatca.org) shall update theInformation Handbook shall be updated by means of an electronic questionnaireform, made available on the IFATCA website. New and amended entries shall be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every even year a new enquiry shall take place. This enquiry will be announced in the first IFATCA Circular of that year. TheAn enquiry shall be done at least once every year. This enquiry shall be announced during the Annual Conference. at the start at the first day of the “Committee C” proceedings at the Annual Conference and end on the last day of the Regional Meeting held that year.Member Associations having new information regarding items listed in the IHB are requested to inform the Editor IHB and theOffice by means of refilling the E- questionnaireonline form, or by e-mail stating changed topicsmodifications.
The Executive Vice-Presidents Region have the responsibility to ensure that up-to-date information from every MA within their region is available.
To accomplish such, the Editor IHB will draft reports for the Regional Meetings stating the unavailability of information and outdated information from the MAs. They will inform the Editor Information Handbook on any problem with regard to the collection of information.
Update on the Information Handbook should be a standard agenda item at each Regional Meeting.
The Editor Information Handbook shall compile aAmendments to the Information Handbook shall be published at least every 2year s.
These changes are mainly editorial and are intended to reflect how the updates of the IHB are now carried out.
The first paragraph changes the recipient of the changes from the IHB Editor (which does not exist anymore) to the Office. The Office will then dispatch the modifications accordingly. This drafting allows more flexibility in case there is a need to move the responsibility of the update from one person to the other. Basically, it does not tie the Federation to a specific person.
The second paragraph is modified to simplify the enquiry process. There is normally an IHB report published at every Conference, and it would be the ideal opportunity to promote that enquiry; however, the new drafting leaves some flexibility in this regard, while keeping the essence of the policy. There is no reason why it shall only be done every other year; it is proposed to standardize the process and make it yearly. The reference to the RM is removed, as it is covered in the following paragraph.
The third paragraph is simplified; with the continuous availability of the document online, EVPs from the various regions can assess by themselves the need for an update in a given MA. Furthermore, the annual report on the IHB should have provided them with an overview of the current status in their respective region.
The amendments to the last paragraph are consequential to the amendments done to the second paragraph.
IFATCA TPM (2018), page 344 – INFO 12.1.5
Belgium Tel: +32 2 751 7694
Fax: +1 514 866 7612
[EDITORIAL NOTE: Delete the policy in toto]
These changes are consequential to the changes proposed in INFO 12.1.1. By standardizing dispatch of the changes towards the IFATCA Office, there is no need to retain this policy. Furthermore, for privacy and confidentiality reasons, it is best not to publish personal addresses in any of the Federation’s manuals.
Additionally, removing this information from the TPM will reduce the risk of having inaccurate information at any given time, should an impromptu change occur in between annual conferences.
Last Update: October 2, 2020