Cooperative Separation – Transfer of Control Functions to Pilots

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Cooperative Separation – Transfer of Control Functions to Pilots

42ND ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 17-21 March 2003

WP No. 157

Cooperative Separation – Transfer of Control Functions to Pilots


The topic of Transfer of Control Functions to Pilots has been on SC4’s working programme since the 37th Annual Conference held at Toulouse, France, in 1998.

Tasked by Committee C, the Executive Board produced a press statement on the subject of Transfer of Control Functions to Pilots shortly after the 2001 Annual Conference.

In this press release the Executive Board expressed the concern of IFATCA’s Member Associations regarding the developments of Transfer of Control Functions to Pilots. The conclusion of the press release was that “IFATCA believes the concept to be at a level of immaturity and warrants further examination and discussion by its Professional and Technical committees.”

This Working Paper is an update on the Professional items related to Transfer of Control Functions to Pilots.


Since the 2002 Conference in Cancun, little progress has been made globally in the development of the concepts described in 2002 Working Paper 160.

The biggest contributor to the development is the ATM Operational Concept Panel (ATMCP). It is in the process of writing the functional requirements for conflict management. This will include Transfer of Control Functions, but will be done under the title of co-operative separation.

The ATMCP has made an Air Traffic Management concept. In this concept co-operative separation is described as follows:

“Co-operative separation is when the role of separator is delegated. This delegation is considered temporary and the condition that terminates the delegation will be known. The delegation can be for types of hazards or from specified hazards. If the delegation is accepted, then the accepting agent is responsible for compliance with the delegation, using appropriate separation modes.”


Note : Participation in separation provision does not necessarily mean co-operative separation. Co-operative Separation refers to the delegation of the role of separator, not simple compliance with instructions or suggestions.

The ICAO Air Navigation conference will be held in September 2003. The subject of Co-operative Separation will be on the agenda.


The concept of Transfer of Control Functions to Pilots is maturing slowly.

Since the functional description of co-operative separation has just started, it is an outstanding chance for IFATCA to be at the forefront of developments and to guide proposals.


To keep this subject on the Working Program of SC 4, renaming the title into “Cooperative Separation”.

This paper be accepted as Information Material.


IFATCA WP No.160 “Transfer of Control Functions to Pilots, Cancun 2002”

IFATCA Press Release Geneva 2001

Last Update: September 29, 2020  

December 21, 2019   709   Jean-Francois Lepage    2003    

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