TPM Review – WC

TPM Review – WC

61ST ANNUAL CONFERENCE, 23-27 May 2022

WP No. 79

TPM Review – WC

Presented by PLC



Over the past few years, PLC came to the conclusion that the TPM was in need of a significant overhaul in order to ensure consistency throughout the manual and with ICAO. Every year, several slight changes are made to individual policies, but there is a need to look at the entire TPM in a holistic way.


1.1. The TPM is the main document used by TOC, PLC, ICAO representatives and other liaison officers as well as Member Associations, when there is a need to advocate a position on behalf of IFATCA or to push IFATCA’s policies at the global level. It is obvious that, for these reasons, the manual has to be as up to date as possible and as easy to use and refer to as it can be; this brings the need for a significant update this year.

1.2. This paper is one of multiple papers that will look at some editorial changes to the WC (Working Conditions) section of the TPM. This paper does not propose changes to the content or the intent of policies; changes proposed are purely editorial, but since they affect policies, they need to be presented in due form to Committee C at Conference.


2.1. WC 8.1.3 – the words “circumvent an industrial dispute” appear twice in the same sentence, which is redundant. It is proposed to amend the policy as follows:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.1.3 – Disputes

The use of TIBA to circumvent an industrial dispute constitutes a misuse of the procedure and should not be used to circumvent an industrial dispute.


2.2. WC 8.1.5 – It is proposed to insert the word “should” instead of “it is recommended that”, to align with policy drafting style used elsewhere in the document and in ICAO, as follows:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.1.5 – Minimum Service

It is recommended that Member Associations should establish a policy on minimum ATC service that their individual members should provide when engaged in an industrial dispute.

It is recommended that Member Associations should seek agreement with the appropriate authorities on the minimum ATC service ATCOs will provide when engaged in an industrial dispute.


2.3. WC 8.1.6 – It is proposed to edit the punctuation in the text, which is currently incorrect. “not” should be replaced with “without” to improve readability, as follows:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.1.6 – Single / Lone Person Operations (SPO)

[…] Until such time, measures shall be taken to mitigate all impacts of SPO/LPO, such as, but not limited to: traffic regulation, work break provisions, and informing neighbouring ATC units. Procedures shall be in place to implement such measures in an efficient way, not without increasing the workload of the ATCO.


2.4. WC 8.1.7 – In the first sentence, the word “strongly” is superfluous and should be removed. In the second sentence, 4EP is considered a principle, therefore “safety net” should be removed, as follows:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.1.7 – Four Eyes Principle (4EP)

Implementation of 4EP shall be strongly encouraged by MAs, both through their ANSP(s) and their regulator(s).

An ATCO shall not be held liable for incidents or accidents resulting solely or in part from the non-implementation of the 4EP safety net.


2.5. WC 8.1.8 – To ensure consistency with the rest of the document, it is proposed to replace “must” with “shall”, and to insert “shall” before “be developed” in the second paragraph. The word “of” appears to be a typing mistake in the last paragraph and should be removed, as an editorial change, as follows:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.1.8 – Performance Indicators

Performance Indicators as published and used by Air Navigation Service Providers must shall not be linked in any way to the pay and/or working conditions of individual ATCO’s.

Global metrics for the performance of the Air Traffic Management System shall be developed through ICAO processes as soon as possible.

Controller expertise must shall be used in the establishment and settings of metrics that measure the performance of the Air Traffic Management System.

Controller expertise must shall be used in establishing and reviewing models used for determining performance of the Air Traffic Management System to ensure that the models accurately reflect how the ATM system functions.

Controller expertise must shall be used in the interpretation of data used to assess the performance of the Air Traffic Management System to ensure that data is not misleading because it is incomplete or incorrectly applied.

[…] IFATCA urges MAs to be involved in the creation of and application of an ATM Performance Measurement System.


2.6. In WC 8.2.1, the second and third parts of the policy refer to the ILO report. To be consistent with this change, and to refer to ILO in a broader way, which would more in line with today’s practice (instead of 1979, when the report was written), some changes are proposed below. The intent of the policy doesn’t change, it only eliminates the specific references to the ILO report:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.2.1 – Methods of determining conditions of operation and service

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 safety use any means, within the Constitution and Bye-Laws of the Federation, to assist the Member Associations in such their 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.

The Executive Board should continue to liaise with the ILO regarding conclusions numbered 12, 13, 25, 32, 41, 42 and 45 of the 1979 ILO Meeting of Aviation Experts in Air Traffic Control on all matters of common interest to both organizations.


2.7. In, the last line mentions that a database should be created and maintained by IFATCA. Such database never existed: the office does not have, and never had the said database. While the rest of the policy is still valid, this line should be removed.

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC – Monitoring Privatisation / Commercialisation in ATC

IFATCA creates and maintain a secure database from responses to the questionnaires.


2.8. In 8.2.3 / 8.2.4, in the last paragraph, it is proposed to replace “must” with “shall” for consistency:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.2.3/8.2.4 – Working Environments and ATC Systems

The physical working environment regarding control room temperature, lighting, relative humidity, adapted rest areas and facilities for eating and drinking must shall be designed so as to facilitate night shift demands.


2.9. In 8.2.5, it is proposed to replace “must” with “shall” for consistency:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.2.5 – Automation / Human Factors

Automation must shall improve and enhance the data exchange for controllers. Automated systems must shall be fail-safe and provide accurate and incorruptible data. These systems must shall be built with an integrity factor to review and crosscheck the information being received.

The Human Factors aspects of Automation must shall be fully considered when developing automated systems.

Automation must shall assist and support ATCOs in the execution of their duties.

The controller must shall remain the key element of the ATC system.

Total workload should not be increased without proof that the combined automated/human systems can operate safely at the levels of workload predicted, and to be able to satisfactorily manage normal and abnormal occurrences. Automated tools or systems that support the control function must shall enable the controller […]

The legal aspects of a controller’s responsibilities must shall be clearly identified when working with automated systems.


2.10. In WC 8.2.7, it is proposed to replace “must” with “shall”, and use “ATCOs” and “ATS” for consistency, as follows:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.2.7 – Working with unserviceable or inadequate equipment

ATS management must shall ensure that ATS equipment is regularly maintained, by properly trained and qualified technical staff, to ensure its availability and reliability.

ATS management must shall design adequate fault reporting procedures and publish required rectification times.

Air Traffic Controllers ATCOs should not use equipment that is known to be unserviceable, unreliable or inaccurate for the provision of services to air traffic ATS.


2.11. In WC 8.2.9, it is proposed to replace “must” with “shall” for consistency, to remove unnecessary upper case and spell ATCOs properly (editorial). For clarity, “escape” should be replaced with “avoidance” and the word “separation assurance” replaced with “responsibility for separation”, as shown below:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.2.9 – Co-operative Separation

Airspace within which Co-operative Separation is used must shall be so designated. Before establishing a single airspace continuum over different States, all legal issues regarding liability and protection of staff should be addressed. […]

Standard escape avoidance procedures shall be established for aircraft not being able to maintain responsibility for separation assurance.

States must shall have in place regulations detailing procedures to be followed before responsibility for separation Separation Assurance can be transferred to the cockpit.

The Initial and final points at which Separation Assurance are responsibility for separation is transferred from ATC to the pilot must shall be accurately defined in all cases.

The responsibility for providing separation between the intercepting aircraft and all other aircraft must shall be clearly defined. ATCOs should not be held liable for incidents or accidents resulting from an interception.


2.12. In WC 8.2.11, the first paragraph contemplates the establishment of an IFALPA/IFATCA working group, which either never existed or does not exist anymore. It is proposed to delete the first paragraph of the policy. It is also proposed to add the review of the entire policy to next year’s work programme, if possible.

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.2.11 – The “Free Flight Concept” Human Factors Considerations

IFATCA and IFALPA establish a Joint Task Group to evaluate the “Free Flight Concept” with a view to determining a Concept Document on the Future of ATC.


2.13. In WC 8.2.12, it is proposed to replace “must” with “shall” for consistency:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.2.12 – ATM Safety Monitoring Tool

ASMT must shall be part of a Safety Management System and shall not be used by Management as a punitive tool for disciplinary action.


Implementation of ASMT must shall be preceded by a clear statement in which its goals are defined.


The criteria used to set up the ASMT parameters must shall be carefully planned and monitored. Sufficient consideration must shall be given to restrict false or nuisance reports.


ASMT must shall be part of a Safety Management System and shall not be used by management to take punitive action but solely for the prevention of future incidents and accidents. An ASMT shall only be enabled once appropriate safety nets relevant to the task such as STCA have been incorporated. The criteria used to define ASMT parameters must shall be carefully planned and monitored with due consideration to minimising nuisance alerts.


2.14. In WC 8.3.1, there are several inconsistencies in the use of “shall” and “should”. It is proposed to replace “must” with “shall” and add a “shall” where “shall” is used (2nd paragraph) and a “should” where “should” is used (7th paragraph):

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.3.1 – Duty Rosters

An optimal roster should be promulgated, based on the maximum allowed number of working hours per week and per shift, a minimum number of break periods of an agreed minimum length, both during a shift and between shifts and on an optimal night/day switch number per week or per month as appropriate. This roster shall requires definition of personnel strength based on the number of sectors and traffic density. It must shall allow for attribution of a minimum number of days paid leave, sick leave, extraordinary leave and unpaid leave. It must shall be such that a minimum number of weekends per month and of public holidays per year can be taken as they occur and not later. Conditions for overtime and night work (e.g. rest facilities) must shall be defined and the regulations governing the various kinds of leave be clearly stated.


In respect of the nature of night shift duties Member Associations should pursue additional time off for night shifts worked as compensation.


2.15. In WC 8.3.3, it is proposed to replace “must” with “shall” for consistency:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.3.3 – Vacation Scheme

The annual leave for a controller should be not less than 30 working days (this is the equivalent of 6 weeks), excluding public holidays, of which 3 weeks must shall be consecutive.


2.16. In WC 8.3.4, it is proposed to replace “must” with “shall” for consistency, and get rid of the bullet point, since there’s only one, and rephrase appropriately, as shown below:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.3.4 – Recency and Competency

The minimum operational working hours must shall be appropriate for the workload of each position.

The minimum working hours may be increased in the following cases:

         at the introduction of new procedures or ATC systems; and/or at the instigation of an individual controller.

[EDITORIAL: remove bullet point, make the paragraph one single sentence]


2.17. In WC 8.4.1, it is proposed to rephrase slightly the policy to use standard language for policy, as follows:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.4.1 – General Provisions

Remuneration for the profession of air traffic controller is justified shall be commensurate with the requirements and responsibilities of the profession, not limited by the practices of other organisations.

Equal remuneration shall be granted for equal work is justified with relation with regards to duties and responsibilities.


2.18. In WC 8.4.2, it is proposed to update the reference to the most recent version of the ILO publication ISCO-88 (now ISCO-08), and to add a hyperlink to the document:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.4.2 – Remuneration Principle

Remuneration of air traffic controllers should reflect their “employment status” in accordance with ILO Publication ISCO*-88 ISCO-08, in which air traffic controllers have been put in a category that includes Aircraft pilots, ships’ officers and other related “associate professionals”.

*International Standard Classification of Occupations


2.19. In WC 8.5.1, it is proposed to replace “must” with “shall” for consistency:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.5.1 – Retirement

Air Traffic Controller retirement legislation must shall be accompanied by an adequate superannuation scheme which enables the controller to receive pension benefits as if service had continued to national retirement age.

ANSPs must shall not increase retirement ages in an attempt to address ATCO staff shortage issues.


2.20. In WC 8.6.1, the first four paragraphs do not contain any action verb, advice, recommendation or requirement for MAs. It is in fact an explanation to what follows, the three following paragraphs, which are the actual policy. It is proposed to convert these four paragraphs into introduction material. Also, it is proposed to replace “must” with “shall” for consistency:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.6.1 – Loss of Licence

Throughout their careers, air traffic controllers are exposed to the constant risk of losing their licence and/or qualifications on grounds of medical or technical incapacity.

To avoid the risk of loss of licence and/or qualifications, air traffic controllers should be provided with adequate measures at the employer’s expense such as the availability of appropriate medical services, physical fitness program, training facilities and refresher training to assist the Air Traffic Controller 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 backgrounds, training and experience, employers should provide loss-of-licence compensation schemes and second career programs 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.


a)      Protection against Loss of Licence Insurance must shall be held by all ATCO’s.

b)      No extra medical examination must shall be required as ATCO’s undergo regular medical checks according to ICAO regulations.

c)      The insurer must shall not be able to impose special conditions or exclusions for any individual members.

d)      Exclusion for already existing medical problems must shall not be allowed.

e)      The meaning of bodily injury and illness must shall be clearly defined.

f)       The premium must shall be paid by the employer.

g)      Any payment under the policy must shall be in addition to any other benefits payable (i.e. pension, sick leave).

h)      The sum payable for permanent loss of licence must shall be at least equal to the amount of five years of ATCO’s income.

i)       The sum must shall be paid even if the ATCO continues to work with the same employer in a position outside ATS.

j)       Should the controller be re-instated with the same employer at a salary less than that of a controller, some provision must shall exist for this loss of income.

k)      Claims procedure must shall be set out clearly in the policy.

l)       Cancellation of Loss of Licence benefit must shall be payable upon provision of due written proof of loss.

m)   The policy must shall have no exclusions other than self-injury and war.


2.21. In WC 8.7.1, it is proposed to replace “must” with “shall” for consistency:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.7.1 – Regulatory Framework in ATM

Regulation of ATM must shall remain the responsibility of the State or of those supranational public entities mandated by the member States.

Regulatory / oversight functions must shall always be separated from Air Navigation Service Providers.

Regulatory / oversight functions must shall always include ATCOs expertise in the development of the regulatory ATM framework.


2.22. In WC 8.7.2, it is proposed to replace “must” with “shall” for consistency, and to add “the” after “meet”, for clarity:

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.7.2 – Normal Operations Safety Survey

Monitoring Safety in Normal Operations must shall be seen as an integral element of a Safety Management System.

A safety tool such as NOSS, shall meet the following conditions: […]


2.23. In WC 8.7.3, Air Traffic Service Providers (ATSPs) is an expression that is not (currently, at least) used; it should be changed to Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs). The second paragraph contains a short definition of what Human Factors are, and should be moved to acronyms and definitions. The third paragraph and second sentence of the fourth paragraph should be deleted, as it is an EASA tool which is not used anymore.

IFATCA TPM (2019), WC 8.7.3 – Safety Management Systems

Air Traffic Navigation Service Providers (ATNSPs) should be encouraged from the outset to utilise the available and current operational expertise already existing within their organisations when developing SMS.

Human Factors are described as the human aspects of the working environment.


The Human Factor Case is a tool to provide a process to address HF issues for a project. Its function is to identify and mitigate HF issues from the beginning of any new project.

Human Factor issues shall be accounted for in each phase of the definition, development, and deployment of new and existing ATM systems and into operational training. Human Factors Case shall be integrated into Safety Management Systems (SMS). Controllers and human factors experts shall be involved from the beginning of any new project.



3.1. The TPM is in need of a significant overhaul in order to ensure consistency throughout the manual and with ICAO. This paper is one of several papers addressing this issue, addressing in particular the editorial changes needed for the WC (Working Conditions) Section of the manual.


4.1. It is recommended that the abovementioned sections of the Technical and Professional Manual (TPM) be amended accordingly, as described in Section 2 of this working paper.


IFATCA. (2019). IFATCA Technical and Professional Manual (TPM). 2019 Ed. Montréal, Canada: International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations.


Last Update: July 30, 2022  

July 20, 2022   283   Jean-Francois Lepage    2022    

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