Review of TRNG (ATC Training) – Professional Policy of the TPM

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Review of TRNG (ATC Training) – Professional Policy of the TPM

59TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Singapore, 30 March – 3 April 2020

WP No. 165

Review of TRNG (ATC Training) – Professional Policy of the TPM

Presented by PLC


IMPORTANT NOTE: The IFATCA Annual Conference 2020 in Singapore was cancelled. The present working paper was never discussed at Conference by the committee(s). Resolutions presented by this working paper (if any) were never voted.


Over the past few years, PLC came to the conclusion that the TPM was in need of a significant overhaul in order to ensure consistency throughout the manual and with ICAO. Every year, several slight changes are made to individual policies, but there is a need to look at the entire TPM in a holistic way.


1.1.  The TPM is the main document used by TOC, PLC, ICAO representatives and other liaison officers as well as Member Associations, when there is a need to advocate a position on behalf of IFATCA or to push IFATCA’s policies at the global level. It is obvious that, for these reasons, the manual has to be as up- to-date as possible and as easy to use and refer to as it can be; this brings the need for a significant update this year.

1.2.  This paper is one of multiple papers that will look at some editorial changes to the (ATC Training) section of the TPM. This paper does not propose changes to the content or the intent of policies; changes proposed are purely editorial, but since they affect policies, they need to be presented in due form to Committee C at Conference.


2.1. In TRNG 10.1.2, a few editorials are required for consistency and clarity. In the 1st and 2nd paragraphs, to replace “will” and “must” with “shall”; in the 3rd paragraph, to replace “respective Governments” with “national authorities” and “trained ATC personnel” with “licenced ATCOs”, and finally in the penultimate paragraph, to replace “Administrations” with “ANSP”, as follows:

IFATCA TPM (2019), TRNG 10.1.2 – Selection


Applicants will shall be required to possess the academic qualifications required to enter a recognized post-secondary educational institution in their country.

Applicants must shall pass the selection standards.

The ICAO medical requirements shall apply to all candidates for selection and other tests considered appropriate by respective Governments national authorities should be employed. The final selection of prospective controllers should be made by trained ATC personnel licenced ATCOs together with professional assessors.




Member Associations, in consultation with their Administrations ANSP, shall encourage the development of suitable static and dynamic aptitude tests for the selection of air traffic controllers.

2.2. In TRNG 10.1.3, the policy refers to “a Manual” without any context or reference. It is proposed to add the proper reference to the manual into the policy, as follows:

IFATCA TPM (2019), TRNG 10.1.3 – Team Resource Management


For the purposes of defining the concept of TRM, IFATCA accepts the ICAO definition of TRM in the manual. That definition states TRM is: in ICAO Doc 9683,  1st Ed. (1998), Human Factors Considerations in CNS/ATM Systems, Appendix to Chapter 5, §14: “To make optimal use of all available resources – people, equipment, and information – to enhance the safety and efficiency of Air Traffic Services.”

2.3. In TRNG 10.2.3, a few editorials are required for consistency and clarity. In the 1st paragraph, it is proposed to replace “ATC administrations” with “ANSPs” In the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs, “ATC” should be added before “OJTI” to align with ICAO terminology. In the 5th and 6th paragraphs, it is proposed to replace “must” with “shall”:

IFATCA TPM (2019), TRNG 10.2.3 – Link Between ATC School & Operational Units


It should be brought to the attention of ATC administrations ANSPs that there is a requirement for close co-operation between ATC training schools and ATC units for which training is performed.

ATC on-the job training instructors (ATC OJTIs) On-On The Job Training Instructors (OJTI) (i.e. controllers trained to supervise trainees during on-the- job training) should assist in simulation training at the ATC School whenever possible.

ATC OJTIs working in ATC school instructors should be given the opportunity to update their knowledge regularly in operational units.




All controllers must shall be trained in accordance with ICAO requirements.

All controllers must shall be licensed and must hold ATC ratings appropriate to the duties they are undertaking.

2.4. In TRNG 10.2.6, to align with ICAO terminology, and for clarity, the first sentence of the policy should be modified as follows:

IFATCA TPM (2019), TRNG 10.2.6 – Airborne Collision Avoidance System (ACAS) Training


Comprehensive initial and refresher ACAS training should be provided for ab initio’s and for refresher purposes and should consist of: […]

2.5.  In TRNG 10.2.7, it is proposed to rephrase the policy as follows, to align with recent amendments to PANS-TRG and the publication of ICAO Doc 10056:

IFATCA TPM (2019), TRNG 10.2.7 – Basic Documentation For Use by Training Officers / Instructors


Training Officers and Instructors ATC OJTIs and course developers should use the ICAO Training Manual Part D-2 in conjunction with Annex 1 ICAO Annex 1, PANS-TRG, Doc 10056 and other guidance material as appropriate and the relevant Technical Assistance Guidelines to assist them in developing their training and assessment programmes. to organize the Training Courses. Variations dictated by local conditions should be borne in mind.

2.6. In TRNG 10.2.8, to align with ICAO terminology, it is proposed to use “initial as well as refresher” instead of “ab-initio as well as recurrent” when discussing training:

IFATCA TPM (2019), TRNG 10.2.8 – Emergency Training


Air Traffic Controllers shall be regularly trained in emergency and degraded system situations, in ab-initio initial as well as recurrent refresher training. This training should at least include In Flight Emergency Response (IFER) and coordination training, handling of Unlawful Interference situations, Hypoxia awareness, and contingency procedures.

2.7. TRNG 10.2.10 has been entirely achived with amendments 4, 5 and 6 of PANS- TRG, which introduce competency-based training and assessment for ATCOs. Further guidance is also available in the 400-pages Doc 10056 on the same topic. It can no longer be said that ICAO doesn’t have any material on ATCO training, and the said material is based on the same document as the former IFATCA Training Manual, i.e. the Eurocontrol guidance on ATCO training. It is proposed to delete the policy in toto.

IFATCA TPM (2019), TRNG 10.2.10 – ICAO Training Manual


The IFATCA Training Manual be accepted as the IFATCA framework for initial training of Air Traffic Controllers.

The IFATCA Training Manual be offered to ICAO for their consideration for adoption and adaptation as an ICAO Training Manual for Air Traffic Controllers.



2.8. In TRNG 10.3.1, there is a need to harmonize the term used for instructors by using consistently “ATC OJTI”, in accordance with ICAO terminology. The 2nd paragraph of the policy has been achieved with amendment 6 to PANS-TRG (applicable 2020) in paragraph “An air traffic controller acting as an air traffic control on-the-job training instructor shall hold an appropriate rating and be qualified as an air traffic control on-the-job training instructor.” It can therefore be deleted. In the remainder of the policy, “must” should be replaced with “shall”, “they” and “their” with “he/she” and “his/her” and the rest of the sentence pluralized for consistency. Finally, the last paragraph could be slightly amended to include a “shall” and for clarity:

IFATCA TPM (2019), TRNG 10.3.1 – On-the-job Training (OJT)


The selection of controllers as OJT instructors ATC OJTIs should not only be made on the basis of experience but also on motivation and instructional aptitude.

All OJT instructors should attend a suitable course of training in order to increase their awareness f the techniques available in OJT and of the application of such techniques.

A period of consolidation should follow a check-out. The previous experience of the student must shall be taken into account.

Apart from being validated on the sector concerned, a controllers should not be engaged in training student controllers unless he/she has they have at least two years’ operational experience and has have been validated on that sector for at least six months.

ATC training shall not take place simultaneously on adjacent positions within the same sector unless the communications, surveillance and supervisory facilities are adequate for the ATC OJTIs to fulfil his/her their responsibilities. […]

To ensure ATC OJTIs have sufficient time working on their own and are able to retain competence on each sector for which they hold validations, ATC OJTI time should be limited to no more than 50% of duty time. This can be organised on a daily, weekly, monthly or shift pattern basis, but must shall limit the time gap between solo operations and take into account leave and other periods when the controller is not at work.

The OJTI It shall be made clear that the ATC OJTI is responsible for maintaining the safety of air traffic services to air traffic on the position where OJT is provided.

In case of investigation following an incident/accident involving an ATC OJTI and a trainee the principles of Just Culture shall be applied.

2.9. In TRNG 10.4.1, there is a need to harmonize the term used for instructors by using consistently “ATC OJTI”, in accordance with ICAO terminology. The 2nd and 6th paragraphs need to be slightly reworded to take into account recent ICAO amendments to PANS-TRG. The 4th and 5th paragraph could be reworded slightly to make them gender neutral. The proposed version of the policy is as follows:

IFATCA TPM (2019), TRNG 10.4.1 – A System Combining Assessments With Examinations


[…] The students should be regularly assessed and debriefed throughout the period of simulation training. A written report should be made by the instructor on a regular basis and should reflect the level attained by the student plus his overall course performance of achievement of the appropriate performance criteria. Both the assessment and the final practical examination theoretical assessment(s) combined with multiple practical assessments should contribute to the total marks.




During OJT regular assessments by OJT instructors ATC OJTIs should be provided. Reports on student progress should be forwarded to training section. At all times the student should be kept informed and permitted to see his report the reports.

A student that has failed an examination should, provided he has shown some signs of success are demonstrated and it can be determined that he the individual has controller potential, after a suitable period of further training, be permitted a re-examination.

No student should be given unlimited training time but neither do all students reach the required standard in the same training time. The duration of training shall not be dictated by a strict pre-determined period of time, but rather by the achievement of performance standards at determined milestones, taking into account the progression demonstrated by the student.

2.10. In TRNG 10.4.2, it is proposed to replace “must” with “shall” for consistency:

IFATCA TPM (2019), TRNG 10.4.2 – Use of Unqualified Personnel


[…] In the event of an incident, caused totally or in part by the use of unqualified personnel, responsibility must shall lie with the person or authority responsible for allocating the unqualified staff to the task undertaken and any other person or authority who has materially supported or assisted to use unqualified personnel.

2.11. In TRNG 10.4.3, it is proposed to replace “must” and “will” with “shall” for consistency:

IFATCA TPM (2019), TRNG 10.4.3 – Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM)


ATFM staff not performing clerical or administrative functions, so called ATFM controllers, must shall be qualified controllers with recent experience on control duties on entry to ATFM services.




An ATFM controller must shall hold an ATFM rating. Such a rating will shall require the ATFM controller to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge, skill and experience of all relevant ATC procedures and ATFM duties.

2.12. In TRNG 10.5.1, the 4th paragraph is already included in toto in TRNG 10.2.8, almost exactly word for word. It is proposed to delete the paragraph to avoid redundancy:

IFATCA TPM (2019), TRNG 10.5.1 – Refresher Courses


[…] Emergency Training, including In Flight Emergency Response (IFER) and coordination training and handling of Unlawful Interference situations should be part of ab-initio and refresher training. […]

2.13. In TRNG 10.5.2, it is proposed to replace “must” with “shall” for consistency:

IFATCA TPM (2019), TRNG 10.5.2 – English Language Training


Sufficient training must shall be available for current ATCOs of all English language abilities so as to be able to meet the required ICAO level and subsequently to retain (or improve) that competency.

Staff who are unable to achieve and maintain the English language requirements must shall have their positions protected and given opportunities to reach the required ICAO level.

2.14.  In TRNG 10.5.3, the 1st paragraph of the policy can now be deleted, as it has been achieved and will be part of PANS-TRG amendment 6, applicable November 2020:

IFATCA TPM (2019), TRNG 10.5.3 – Supervisory and Management Courses


Controllers who are charged with responsibility for indoctrination or on-the-job training of ATS personnel should be provided with adequate courses of instruction in order to discharge these additional responsibilities.

2.15.  In TRNG 10.5.4, a few editorials are required to bring up to date the policy. In the first sentence, it is proposed to add a “shall” and to replace “authorities responsible for the operation of Air Traffic Services” with “ANSPs”. In a), Air Traffic Controllers and Air Traffic Control should be in lower cases, for consistency. In d), it is proposed to replace “link trainers” with “flight simulators” (Note: Link Trainers is a brand of flight simulators produced in the early 1930s and early 1950s by Link Aviation Devices Inc).

Finally, the note is in fact a definition, it should be reworded slightly to remove IATA’s reference (according to IATA, PAC Resolution No. 200 is no longer in force) and moved to acronyms and terms, with an hyperlink from the policy to the definition.

IFATCA TPM (2019), TRNG 10.5.4 – Flight Experience For Air Traffic Controllers


The Federation shall recommends to all authorities responsible for the operation of Air Traffic Services ANSPs:

a) To provide for familiarization flights in the cockpits of aircraft for Air Traffic Controllers air traffic controllers, with combined facilities to visit adjacent and distant Air Traffic Control air traffic control units.




d) To exploit the use of link trainers flight simulators for the familiarization of air traffic controllers with specific in-flight problems.

Note: Familiarization flights (also known as “duty flights” or “route experience flights”) are granted by national air carriers on government or ANSP request in accordance with IATA Traffic Resolution No. 200.




3.1  The TPM is in need of a significant overhaul in order to ensure consistency throughout the manual and with ICAO. This paper is one of several papers addressing this issue, addressing in particular the editorial changes needed for the TRNG (ATC Training) Section of the manual.


4.1  It is recommended that the above-mentioned sections of the Technical and Professional Manual (TPM) be amended accordingly, as described in Section 2 of this working paper.


IFATCA. (2019). IFATCA Technical and Professional Manual (TPM). 2019 Ed. Montréal, Canada: International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations.

Last Update: October 2, 2020  

August 30, 2020   676   Jean-Francois Lepage    2020    

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