Guidelines for the Qualification and Training of AFIS Personnel – (Review of ICAO Circular 211 AN/128)

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Guidelines for the Qualification and Training of AFIS Personnel – (Review of ICAO Circular 211 AN/128)

37TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Toulouse, France, 30 March – 3 April 1998

WP No. 149

Guidelines for the Qualification and Training of AFIS Personnel – (Review of ICAO Circular 211 AN/128)


SC1 brought to the attention of SC4 the contents of ICAO Circular 211 AN/128, and suggested that SC4 should review the guidelines for qualification and training. IFATCA Technical Policy recognises the existence of AFIS at suitable airports and requires that there be letters of agreement defining the interface between ATC and the AFIS.


Qualification and Training

SC4 found the circular to adequately cover the qualifications and skills appropriate to AFIS operation with one notable exception. Anecdotal evidence from Member Associations led us to the conclusion that persons giving an AFIS often transgress the boundaries between “information” and “control”. SC4 believes that the training should include elements that indicate why an Aerodrome Plight Information Service is different to an Aerodrome Control Service and why AFIS personnel should not attempt to control aircraft.

Much thought was given to the issue of whether persons giving an AFIS should be subject to “formal” qualifications and medical examinations. SC4 concluded that as these persons purely provide information, ratings, endorsements and the other qualifications required by ICAO for air traffic controllers were unnecessary. Similarly no medical qualification was considered necessary as the task being undertaken was of a purely supplementary nature. Should the AFIS operator become incapacitated then aircraft safety would not be compromised.

Accommodation and Equipment

After consideration of the qualification and training section of the circular SC4 considered the other sections. Of concern was the section on accommodation and equipment. SC4 does not consider it necessary for AFIS personnel to be able to see the airport, in particular, being housed in a “control tower” with equipment similar to the equipment required for a control tower’’ would reinforce the impression that such personnel might have that they were indeed air traffic controllers.


The qualifications and training mentioned in the circular are adequate for the task being undertaken.

A clear distinction between ATC and AFIS provision should be reinforced by national authorities in order to avoid both possible confusion in service provision and misunderstanding by the users.

Periodic medical examinations are not thought necessary.

AFIS personnel should not be accommodated and equipped to the same level as an Aerodrome Control Service.


This paper be accepted as guidance material.

Last Update: September 28, 2020  

March 10, 2020   614   Jean-Francois Lepage    1998    

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