Day two started off with subcommittee meetings.
After morning tea everyone converged for the ATC Panel Discussion, moderated by Jeremy Thompson. The guests included the presidents of international ATC unions and focussed on collaboration from a global perspective.
The panel discussion was well received by the audience and it was striking to realise how much of the worlds airspace was represented in the room.
Conference then heard from our Keynote speaker Martin Chalk, IFALPA President. It was entertaining and informative, with a couple of digs about the rugby, and a big emphasis on the support that we can give and receive through IFALPA. There are many opportunities to be gleaned from working together.
The rest of the afternoon contained more subcommittee business, as well as reports.
The formal dinner was a highlight of the day where we honoured our Scroll of Merit recipients, as well as granting Kevin Henderson Life Membership. Kevin gave a great speech, it was humbling to see the amount of work and time he has given to NZALPA and our members. A lot of thanks was also given to Kevin’s wife, Kath, for all the support that has allowed him to give so much to NZALPA.
Panel Discussion - Air Traffic Controllers - Global Collaboration
The panel discussion was moderated by IFATCA Executive Board member and NZALPA member, Jeremy Thompson (Bob). Bob initiated the discussion with introductions and questions about the panel members and their union structures, Bob then asked the panel to identify any positive benefits or potential pitfalls with respect to employer/union collaboration. Several panel members shared their experiences in an enlightening conversation,
which was enjoyed by both air traffic control and pilot members alike. Collectively, the panelists represented nearly half of the world’s airspace, and approximately
a third of the global ATC workforce. These were:
- Mr Paul Rinaldi - President -National Air Traffic Controllers Association USA
- Mr Peter Duffey - CATCA President
- Mr Daryl Hickey - Civil Air President
- Mr Paul Winstanley - Chair of Prospect ATCO's Branch, UK
- Mr Jonathan Brooks - NZALPA ATC Director
The main themes during the discussion enforced the current philosophy held by NZALPA that there is a need for the union to work with employers, where possible, for the benefit of members.However, the panel members all agreed that the union should always keep in mind its primary industrial functions, and adopt a sensible and pragmatic approach when difficult issues arise that place pressure on the collaboration effort. CATCA President, Peter Duffey, gave an update on NAV CANADA efforts in partnership with Aireon
(www.aireon.com) to launch a global ADS-B satellite network to provide surveillance over 100% of the earth’s surface. This surveillance technology is considered a ‘game-changer’ by ATC experts worldwide and its development and implementation needs to be closely monitored. Mr Duffey expressed his willingness to collaborate with international union partners to ensure the technology and procedures enhance safety and reliability of the Air Traffic Management system.
Paul Winstanley from PROSPECT further echoed Mr Duffey’s views, encouraging controllers to embrace change while cautiously contemplating its effect on the system. Mr Winstanley highlighted that “change for the sake of change” was undesirable from an ATC’s perspective.
The panel also expressed a strong view that all unions need to collaborate with each other internationally in other areas, with the discussion revealing that we all face, or have faced, similar issues at different times.
Paul Rinaldi, President of NATCA (USA), which represents over 20,000 members, expressed his view during a subsequent speech to conference delegates that unions must collaborate with each other in the interests of safety enhancement, improvement of systems, and sharing of information for the mutual benefit of all aviation, both pilots and air traffic controllers.
This sentiment was evident throughout the rest of the week as relations were further cemented with inter-union agreements being signed between several nations. Daryl Hickey
(CivilAir, Australia) correctly pointed out that the experience of frontline ATC’s should not be undervalued by employers, and his comments on the ‘corporate memory’ available amongst our collective membership was met with a round of applause from the delegates in attendance.
The formal dinner was a highlight of the day where we honoured our Scroll of Merit recipients, Gary Hayman, Peter Douglas and Glen Edwards, as well as granting Kevin Henderson Life Membership. Kevin gave a great speech, it was humbling to see the amount of work and time he has given to NZALPA and our members. A lot of thanks was also given to Kevin’s wife, Kath, for all the support that has allowed him to give so much to NZALPA.