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IFATCA Policy is:

From a human factor aspect IFATCA has strong concerns over the transfer of control responsibility to the cockpit for the following reasons:

  • If separation functions are transferred to the cockpit the situation awareness and skills base of the ATCO will be degraded to the point when intervention will not be possible.
  • Aircrew workload will increase by fulfilling additional tasks, which are currently carried out by ATC. This might lead to overload situations in cockpit workload when other, higher priority, tasks have to be taken care of by the crew. Responsibility for the control function cannot simply be handed back to the controller.

Delegation of separation shall be thoroughly described and defined in ATC and aircrew procedures.

Airspace within which co-operative separation is used 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.

ATC and aircraft utilizing such delegated separation airspace shall be certified with minimum equipment.

Controllers and aircrew shall be provided with special training and certification to operate in delegated separation airspace.

The “delegation of separation” clearance shall be of a temporary nature, and shall be terminated either at a fix, a specified level, a specified time, or when standard ATC separation has been re-established, or when one of the aircraft has landed.

All aircraft and controller functions in co-operative separation shall be synchronized to the same time reference.

“Loss of separation” warning systems shall be incorporated in the application at ATC facilities and on aircraft.

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

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

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

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

See: WP 154 – Santiago 1999, WP 166 – Santiago 1999WP 158 – Hong Kong 2004, WP 89 – Kaohsiung 2006, WP 159 – Dubrovnik 2009, Resolution C45 – WP 79 – Virtual 2022




Last Update: August 11, 2022  

November 4, 2019   616   Jean-Francois Lepage    WC    

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