The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the biggest representative of workers in the European aviation and in the air traffic management, has been participating in the rulemaking process on air traffic services within the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for the past two years. We are now proud to announce that a proper recognition of Aerodrome Flight Information Services (AFIS), as well as the workers involved – Flight Information Service Officers (FISOs) – within the framework of air traffic services is underway.
EASA is currently working on a draft of a new EU regulation to harmonize the provision of air traffic services. 'Air traffic services' is the technical name for rules applied by air traffic controllers and other personnel to make flying safe and efficient, both for passengers and the population affected by air operations. AFIS is an alternative to setting up a control tower at the less busy aerodromes.
Charles-André Quesnel, the Chair of the ETF Air Traffic Management Committee, commented: "The proper recognition of AFIS colleagues has been long overdue. While we insist that a fully-fledged air traffic control is needed at major and regional airports in Europe, AFIS recognition will improve safety even at the smallest airports.”
François Ballestero, ETF Political Secretary for Civil Aviation, added: “ETF has been the only organization representing AFIS officers in this process. This first step towards a comprehensive competence scheme for FISOs is a great success for us."
The new regulation is expected to come into force in 2018. In the meantime, the ETF will continue its fight for improved training and qualification requirements for all air traffic management personnel.