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IFATCA Americas Regional Meeting Fosters Understanding

The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA) held their most recent Americas Regional Meeting Oct. 25-27 in Nassau, Bahamas. The Americas region comprises member associations in North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Representatives from the member countries gather annually to further education amongst the delegates from the region and share the challenges that each member association is facing. 

Attending from the U.S. were Trish Gilbert (Executive Vice President Americas), Andrew LeBovidge (Regional Vice President North America, NATCA delegate), Jaymi Steinberg (Technical and Operations Committee Chair/IFATCA 2030+ Task Force), Sarah Grampp (Critical Incident Stress Management, CISM Chair), and Tom Flanary (NATCA Disaster Response Committee, DRC Chair).  

Among the highlights of the meeting was a coordinated series of presentations pertaining to wellness and mental health including Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), the Disaster Response Committee (DRC), and the current global trends in addressing mental health for air traffic control officers. Also highlighted were topics including technical updates, the state of collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), and updates on operations and progress within the member countries. 

“This meeting provided an opportunity to get together within the region to foster better understanding of our nearby colleagues and their conditions,” Steinberg said. “These meetings also allow us to build relationships and alert members to work that is going on within the Federation.”

LeBovidge reinforced this perspective adding, “It is critically important that we maintain a global perspective on the issues affecting the aviation industry and work together to improve the status of the air traffic control profession. Given the interconnectivity of the system, we cannot operate in a vacuum and we all can benefit from increased collaboration.”

As per new standards adopted in the most recent annual conference, elections are to be held for Executive Vice President and Regional Vice Presidents during the meeting, which Gilbert and LeBovidge won, respectively, by acclamation. The full body of IFATCA will next meet in April 2024 in Singapore. 

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