Review of Existing IFATCA Policies (Legal)

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Review of Existing IFATCA Policies (Legal)

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

WP No. 155-3

Review of Existing IFATCA Policies (Legal)


Editor’s Note: As this particular WP reviewed several areas of IFATCA Legal Policy, only that part which refers to the actual Policy described here is shown.


The review of Existing IFATCA Policies (Legal) continues on the work Programme of SC7. Presently, IFATCA Policies relating to Legal Matters can be found in the IFATCA Manual pages 4401-4441 and IFATCA Policy Documents are on pages 44-A1 and 44-B1.

IFATCA’s Legal Policy comprises of the following sections:

1.3.1. Legal liability of the Controller

1.3.2. Accident and Incident Investigation

1.3.3. Legal Assistance

1.3.4. Unlawful Interference with Civil Aviation and its Facilities

Additionally there are attachments to sections 1.3.2. and 1.3.4.:

1.3.2. IFATCA Policy Document on Accident and Incident Investigation

1.3.4. IFATCA Policy Document on Unlawful Interference with Civil Aviation and its Facilities


Last year this Committee came to the following conclusions:

There was room for more work to be done especially in the areas of the Legal Liability of the Controller and Legal Assistance.

WPs that were adopted as Guidance Material at past Conferences should be included in the IFATCA Manual since they hold a status similar to IFATCA Policy. (These will now be included in the IFATCA Professional Manual)

That more background information with regards to certain Professional Policies needed to be gathered and placed in a Professional Manual so as to ensure its ease of accessibility

It is suggested that the following addition be made to the Professional Policy regarding the Legal Liability of the Controller:

“1.2.6. A Controller shall not be held liable for incidents/accidents which occurred as a result of non-adherence to proper instructions/clearances issued by the said Controller.”

The above addition should be included since it covers situations in which it has been determined that the non-adherence to proper ATC instructions/clearances by aircraft or an Air Traffic Controller, was directly responsible for the occurrence of an incident/accident. In such situations, SC7 is of the view that the ATCO who issued the proper instructions/clearances shall not be held liable.


It is believed that the suggested amendments mentioned above will assist in clarifying issues related to the legal liability of the Controller and legal assistance for IFATCA’s MAs. Some of these amendments will also ensure that the acquiring of relevant information will be better facilitated.

Last Update: September 28, 2020  

March 10, 2020   436   Jean-Francois Lepage    1998    

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