Practical Legal Aid Programme

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Practical Legal Aid Programme

29TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Acapulco, Mexico, 21-25 April 1990

WP No. 83

Practical Legal Aid Programme


At the Frankfurt Conference Spain stated that there should be a study on possible involvement of IFATCA in providing legal aid to the individual members.

IFATCA Manual reads:

‘’Member Associations shall provide the Executive Board and the chairman of SC7 with a list of their members who have qualified in any field of law. Such members may be called on to assist the chairman of SC7 in dealings with the Legal Commission.’’


IFATCA Manual reads:

‘’Member Associations shall support the efforts of SC7 in discovering all cases in which the air traffic controller was named as a defendant before a court for aircraft accidents or incidents.’’



What can be done on a short-term basis to provide more legal aid service to the individual member? In other words, what potentials do we have within IFATCA already and how can this kind of service be organised?


In no way the service of IFATCA can and will replace the need for local lawyer(s) in criminal and civil court cases. They know their way around ‘’local’’ law and custom and moreover, in the majority of the cases the law of the country will not allow this replacement. Most lawyers however know little about Air Traffic Control and have limited specialist knowledge. It is particularly in his field that a Controller, also being qualified in law, can fill the gap. The effect of the service will increase tremendously when there is jurisprudence at hand, not so much as to see what was the outcome of a particular case but to study the arguments pro and contra.

GATCO has an insurance scheme providing for legal costs and expenses. There might be a possibility that more (European) controllers can benefit from this scheme through IFATCA.


Commit SC7 with the task of making draft proposals for providing IFATCA with a ‘’Legal Aid Programme’’, based on the following items:

  • Insurance for legal costs and expenses for the individual members;
  • The formation of a group of Controllers which, through SC7, can be available on short notice to be of assistance in cases against Controllers;
  • Jurisprudence of cases against Controllers.


IFATCA Manual;

Correspondence about insurance UK GATCO;

Discussion paper from Spain.

Last Update: September 20, 2020  

December 2, 2019   717   Jean-Francois Lepage    1990    

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