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IFATCA Communique - COVID-19 Crisis

08 April 2020

Dear Member Associations of IFATCA,

As you are all too well aware, the COVID-19 crisis has far-reaching consequences worldwide, not in the least for you and your members at the forefront of Air Traffic Service provision. I renew the commitment of the IFATCA Executive Board to support you the best way we can and a number of initiatives are already underway to provide you with guidance, ideas and support. In that sense, in addition to the previously distributed materials, we have established a resource page at for your ongoing reference. If you have any requests or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Having said that, the crisis also has an impact on the running of the Federation itself. Though it may seem trivial at this stage, as remarked by a number of Member Associations, the cancellation of the 2020 Annual Conference means that a number of practical decisions needed to be taken to ensure the proper functioning of the Federation.

Firstly, the Executive Board has determined that the impacts of COVID-19 will continue to cause disruption for the foreseeable future and that it will not be possible to hold a replacement conference before June 1st 2020, as foreseen in the Constitution and Administrative Manual (CAM). This triggers a number of mechanisms for the Executive Board positions and budget as foreseen in the CAM. The practical implications of these will be communicated to the Member Associations in the coming weeks.

After consultation with the Member Associations, the Executive Board confirms the following decisions:

  • The 2021 Annual Conference will be hosted by Jamaica, as decided by Directors during the 2019 Conference.

  • Suspension of Member Associations that have not yet paid their dues for 2020 is deferred to the next Plenary session of Directors.

  • Mr. Robert Mason is appointed as Chair of the Constitutional and Administrative Committee (CAC). Ms. Renée Pauptit is appointed as Chair of the Technical and Operations Committee. Both appointments are valid for two years – in practice until conference 2022.

For the Executive Board positions that were up for election this year, the CAM determines that the incumbents continue in their roles until elections can be organised. For four of these positions, President and CEO, EVP Finance, EVP Americas and EVP Professional, it means there is no change. The EVP Europe, Tom Laursen of Denmark, had previously indicated he would not be available for re-election and has in the meantime submitted his resignation from the Executive Board. The Executive Board wishes to thank Tom for his hard work and dedication to the Federation.

EGATS had submitted a nomination for Mr. Frédéric Deleau to the 2020 Conference for the position of EVP Europe. As this was the only nomination received, a ballot would not have been necessary in Committee A and he would have automatically been recommended to the Final Plenary for confirmation. Given the current crisis, the Executive Board believes it would be unwise to leave the post of EVP Europe vacant and, in accordance with the CAM, therefore appoints Mr. Frédéric Deleau as ‘Acting EVP Europe’ ad-interim. As for the other positions, it will be up for election at the next Plenary meeting of the Federation.

Considering the responsibility of the Executive Board to coordinate the regional meetings; the anticipated impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on travel; and the need to minimize any financial liability and commitment for the Member Associations and the Federation, the Executive Board has decided to cancel the 2020 Regional Meetings. The EB wants to thank the respective Member Associations for their willingness to host the event and hopes that they will consider putting themselves forward to organise future Regional Meetings.

This crisis is an unprecedented challenge, and these are difficult times for all of us. The way forward for individuals, professional associations, and our Federation is through resilience, resourcefulness and improvisation. Luckily, these are qualities that Air Traffic Controllers have in abundance.

As an International Organisation our greatest asset is our collective strength. You can count on the Federation to support you throughout this challenge, but we need your help to deliver the support that you need. Together we will recover. One sky. One voice.

On behalf of the IFATCA Executive Board,

Duncan Auld

IFATCA President and CEO

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