EVP Andrew LeBovidge and NATCA Members Participate in IFATCA’s 62nd Annual Conference
The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA) held their 62nd Annual Conference from May 8-12, 2023, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. This was the first in person conference that the federation has had since 2019 and delegations from 62 countries were in attendance. The IFATCA annual conference deals with technical discussions regarding air traffic control issues and adopts working papers from different committees to set the framework of discussions with regulators and service providers throughout the world.
The Technical and Operations Committee (TOC) and Professional and Legal Committee (PLC) presented on topics including Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, remote towers, conversion of military to civilian licenses, and staffing shortages. The Finance (FIC) and Constitution/Administrative (CAC) Committees addressed internal governance issues that will lead to better involvement, training, and development of professional controllers across the world. “It is vitally important that the air traffic controller associations from across the world work together to shape the narrative in the global aviation system from the perspective of air traffic controllers. Despite the vastly different structures that exist country by country, by having these open and frank conversations we can find paths forward that truly promote and preserve the working conditions for controllers everywhere” said NATCA Executive Vice President Andrew LeBovidge.
The United States had several members in attendance including LeBovidge, Jaymi Steinberg (Chair TOC, 2030+ Task Force ZDC), Betsy Beaumont (TOC, ZFW), Michelle Trudeau (PLC, ZID Retired), Tom Thompson (Speak English Program, ZID Retired), Lisandra Green (ZTL), and Trish Gilbert (Executive Vice President – Americas, ZHU Retired).
Tom Thompson reflected on this first experience, “The work of our NATCA members who hold these positions is extremely well respected. I felt like any time one of our members spoke it was like the room stopped to pay extra close attention. Our union and our air traffic control system is without a doubt a world leader. We may not always realize it within ourselves, but get outside our country and it’s very easy to realize.”
PHOTO (left to right): Tom Thomson, Betsy Beaumont, Michelle Trudeau, Lisandra Green, Jaymi Steinberg, Andrew LeBovidge