ICAO Air Navigation Conference: Lobbying underway by aviation unions over remote towers

October 9, 2018

ITF Delegates at their preparatory meeting in the ITF’s new ICAO Liaison Office in Montreal just before the AN-Conf/13.

The ICAO Air Navigation Conference (AN-Conf/13), organized by the International Civil Aviation Organization is taking place from 9 October to 19 October 2018 in Montreal, Canada.

The theme of the conference is “From Development to Implementation” and it will discuss issues and proposed solutions relating to flight safety and air navigation capacity and efficiency, and other key performance areas of particular interest to aviation workers.

At the Conference, the ITF will present a working paper covering key concerns and proposals of aviation workers regarding remote towers.

The ITF working paper stresses that unions were not against new technology but it should always either maintain or improve safety. The paper says that aviation unions have deep concerns about simultaneous multi-tower operations as they could cause serious distraction and undermine flight safety.

ITF civil aviation section secretary Gabriel Mocho commented: “We believe that ICAO should take the lead in developing global regulation for remote towers. We are keen about stopping any negative impact on flight safety and aviation workers’ conditions posed by the growing use of remote air traffic control towers. Moreover, the ITF and its affiliates will keep on insisting that the involvement of trade unions from the start of new technology discussions is essential for success.”

The Conference will set the priorities for the coming years and agree on a set of high-level recommendations in various key performance areas of the air navigation system. These recommendations will be submitted for approval to the ICAO Council for subsequent endorsement by the 40th Session of the Assembly in 2019.

Next year the ITF civil aviation unions from across the world will be taking on an intensive lobbying activity on key worker and industry issues in the run-up to the upcoming Assembly.

Although the Conference overlaps with ITF’s Congress in Singapore, members of the ITF’s Remote Towers Working Group decided to make an extra effort in order to be involved in the ICAO work regarding air navigation issues. (Check the ITF Congress website from here>>)

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