Page 18 - ATC Special Bulletin Series - Training & Simulation 2022-01
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ATC NETWORK
AIRWAYS
QUESTION 4
Do you envisage any staffing shortage issues if the recovery of traffic continues as predicted?
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the risk to operations, training was initially paused while the impact on staff and traffic levels was assessed. Once that work was complete, Airways began to consider how training could be resumed in a measured and safe way.
We reviewed where each trainee was in relation to their stage and phase of training, and they were then prioritised in various groups. As soon as the network was able to resume training, the trainees and their instructing teams were ready to resume training activities in a coordinated manner.
Across the Airways network, training related activities were resumed in accordance with government and organisation guidelines, with every effort made to minimise the disruption to planned training.
Air traffic has indeed considerably picked up again. We already have traffic figures that are in some places barely different from those of 2019. We have activated the capacity initiative from 2019 and have different activities regarding this, such as adjusting shift schedules and releasing operational colleagues from additional activities - away from their operational work, for example in projects. In addition, some of our air traffic controllers are trained for additional areas of operation. In addition, our ‘corona agreement’, which we signed with our collective bargaining partner, the air navigation services union GdF, gives us some room for adaptations. The agreement contains that in 2020, each employee could work up to 300 hours fewer than normal. Half of these hours have to be made up for by working longer after 2021.
The training of new air traffic controllers is running at maximum level. There is a lot of movement here at the moment. We want to even improve our service quality compared to the pre-Corona level.
Staffing is completely sufficient to fulfil our mission.
We have done our homework in this respect and are also optimising internal qualifications in order to be able to react more flexibly to changes in the traffic situation. In 2020, for example, we started training air traffic controllers not only in their own sector group, but also in a neighbouring sector group. The introduction of improved procedures, agreements and air traffic control systems will lead to further optimisation in the
future.
EUROCONTROL
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