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Charter of Demands

Charter of Demands - Air Traffic Controllers

Submitted to the Chairman AAI on 24th January 1997

 

Sir,
Air Traffic Controllers' Guild (India), wish to draw your attention to the correspondence made on the points listed below;

1. Organisational Structure of the AAI

In the present organisational set-up of AAI key decision making positions are held by persons other than from stream of ATS (Directorate of ARA), that is why the decisions/planning by the Organisation has not been as per ICAO recommended practices. The experimentation of having persons from other than of ATS stream has cost dearly so far, and it has been the chief cause of discontent among the ATCOs in India.

In order to ensure that the decisions/planning which affect the Organisation as a whole are proper and upto the requirement, it is important to have persons from ATS stream in key decision making positions. Recommendations/Guidelines issued by ICAO on the matter as are listed in the ATS Planning Manual DOC9426-AN/924 are also on the similar lines.

In a meeting with ATC Guild (India), on 3rd December 1996, Honourable Minister of Civil Aviation had inquired regarding the present status of the matter, to which he was informed accordingly. ATC Guild (India) during the meeting was given to understand that Honourable Minister was also having similar view on the matter.

ATC Guild (India) suggest that the office of the Chairman, Member (Operation) & Member (Planning) should be held by a person from the stream of ATS (Directorate of ARA) in order to ensure proper day-to-day functioning of the Organisation. The post of In-charge of the Regions as well as of the stations shall always be from the Directorate of ARA only. This is to keep in line with the demands, which have been made with regard to this by ATC Guild (India), for quite some time.

ATC Guild (India) wish to suggest organisational structure as per annexure A, and requests an early implementation of the same.

2. Manpower Planning for Air Traffic Services
2.1 Requirement

Manpower requirement for Air Traffic Services in AAI shall be assessed as per the principles laid down in the ICAO DOC 9426 part IV section chapter 2 para 2.1 and in the background of the recommendations made by the Honourable Court of inquiry into Indian Airlines B737 aircraft VT- EFL near Imphal on 16.08.91.

As per recommendations of the Court of Inquiry and guidelines of the ICAO documents and circulars there shall be a provision of proper rest or work-break for the ATCOs, the duty hours of the ATCOs shall be established by taking into account the stress factor, one additional ATCO on ATC channel shall be posted to act as hot standby (like safety pilot or co-pilot onboard aircraft).

Air Traffic Controllers' Guild (India) has carried out a simple assessment of the manpower requirement by considering these factors which is enclosed as annexure B. The requirement of the manpower shall be assessed every year taking into account the development in next five years.

2.2 Filling up vacancy

The vacancies which are likely to come-up after assessment of the requirement as per para 2.1 above, shall be filled-up as early as possible. Since the recruitment/training procedure for the ATCO is such that it takes minimum three years from the date of notification being issued to the actual employment in the job it is necessary to adapt interim measures to ensure availability of the manpower. ATC Guild (India) suggest that in order to provide for the immediate requirement of the manpower at various stations, all the existing AAOs be upgraded to the post of AO.

With automation of the ATS services in India a sharp downfall in the future requirement of the manpower in the grade of Aerodrome Assistants is well expected. Whereas enhanced Air Traffic Control coverage will enhance need of ATCOs. Steps needed in this direction have to be taken quite early now. The best method will be;

a) to put a ban on the future intake in the grade of the Aerodrome Assistants.

b) All the existing AAs be trained and upgraded to the Grade of AAO, thereafter on completion of 5 years in the Grade of AAOs all such employees be upgraded to the post of AO. Thus after 5 years hence there will not be any AA, or AAO.

c) Any future intake shall be only in the grade of the AO.

d) There shall be a promotional post of Assistant Director to rank between SAO and Dy Director.

e) Grade-wise requirements of manpower could be worked out based on the structure proposed as per annexure A. 

f) All the post, which may come up due to such calculation, shall be filled up at the earliest by way of up-gradation and promotion. Fresh recruitment shall be in phased manner in order to avoid stagnation at the entry level.

2.3 Recruitment 

Present criteria/method of taking fresh entry of ATCOs is against the interest of individuals as well as of the organisation. 

For the job of ATCO there does not seem any reason to have intake only of the Engineering Graduates or Electronic Post-Graduates, rather such intake is sheer waste of the professional intelligence. Moreover since such individuals do not find them comfortable in the job of ATCO they tend to leave as early as possible, which causes loss of trained manpower. This also causes to have individuals at the higher age bracket only to get-in, thus difficult to mould them as per the requirements of the ATC profession.

It is suggested that;

a) the recruitment procedure for the ATCO shall be as has been laid down in the para 2.2 of chapter 2, section 1, Part IV of the ATS Planning Manual DOC9426-AN/924.

b) Academic qualification for the recruitment of ATCO shall be Graduation in any stream, having studied Physics/ Maths upto level of 10+2. No restriction shall be imposed with regard to Grades/Marks obtained, in the academic exams.

c) Age shall be between 20 to 23 years

d) Candidates be screened with written examination on general intelligence thereafter examined for aptitude and psychology, interviewed and finally medically examined for requirements as per Annex 1 of ICAO.

e) Recruitment shall be on regular basis, every six months for the number of posts, which are likely to fall vacant in future, when this batch will pass-out from CATC.

2.4 Promotions

In order to ensure that stagnation does not take place at the entry level and thereafter, it is necessary to adapt procedure of proper promotional avenues for the ATCOs.

Improper or weak promotional prospects breed discontent among the employees in general, in case of ATCOs the situation becomes more difficult, as has been described in detail in DOC 9426 (refer para 2.3 of chapter 2, section 1, Part IV of the ATS Planning Manual DOC9426-AN/924.) as well as in many other papers.

The FCS promotions, which have been accorded, are not a proper solution because even with this scheme the stagnation is likely to continue.

ATC Guild (India) will like to emphasis on the fact that since as per job requirements of the ATCOs there will be many persons working in the Grades on AO, SAO and Astt Dir. but much less number in the Grade of Dy Dir, Jt Dir, Dir, and Exe Dir; the best method to grant promotions to the ATCOs shall be with Time-scale promotions.
It is suggested that, Promotional Rules may be amended as follows;

Time Scale Promotion:

From grade

To grade

By selection on completion of

By seniority on completion of

AO

S.A.O

Time scale only

6 years of service since joined at CATC

S.A.O.

Astt Dir

Time scale only

4 years of service as SAO

Astt Dir

Dy Dir 

4 years as Astt Director

8 years as Astt Dir

Dy Dir

Jt Dir

3 years as Dy Dir

6 years as Dy Dir

Jt Dir

Dir

3 years as Jt Dir

6 years as Jt Dir

Dir

Exe Dir

2 years as Director

4 years as Dir

2.5 Training

Present curriculum of the training of ATCO is not such which will make him useful for all the requirement of the job at the airport. Hence it is suggested that the same may be amended as given herewith;

a) The ab-initio course of AO shall consist of Aerodrome Control course and Airport Management Course.

b) Subsequent to this course trainee officers shall be posted at the International Airport for a period of one year in order to earn on job training/experience and obtain Aerodrome Control Rating. 

c) On successful attainment of the Aerodrome Control Rating within this period, the officer shall be posted to CATC for ab-initio course in Approach/Area control and RADAR Technique. And thereafter be posted to a RADAR Station to acquire all ATC Ratings.

e) Officer who do not make grade as ATCO or who become medically unfit to perform as ATCO shall be shifted for the Management and Administration duties.

3. ATC Duty Time Limitations

The fact that the flight safety is directly proportional to the degree of the alertness of, correctness and quickness in the response to the situation (decision within split second) by an ATCO it becomes imperative that proper rest is provided to all the ATCOs while on duty.

The conclusions of ILO Report 1979, in Appendix I in paras 18 to 26 have stated that the working hours of the ATCOs shall be defined properly and these shall be less than those of the other workers in the Civil Aviation. Hence it will be prudent to lay down as given below.

a) No ATCO shall be allowed to work for more than 120 hours in any 30 consecutive days, more than 30 hours in a week, more than 2 hours at a stretch.

b) Half of the time of Work-break (rest period) during duty shall be treated as duty actually performed.

c) Duties during night and on Public Holidays (CH) shall be treated equal to 1.5 times of the duty performed.

4. Remuneration 

Reference may please be made to the ATC Guild (India) letters Dtd 16th May 1996, and 9th Sept 96, and 10th Oct 96, on the subject.

ATC Guild (I) in it's letter stated above had demanded that the pay package for the ATCOs should be established by taking into consideration the ILO report on the matter to which India has been a signatory. The demand was to establish Pay Package by considering the ratio of the emoluments drawn by the Airline Pilots and the ATCOs in the developed countries like USA and the same ratio of emoluments be maintained for arriving to the emoluments for the ATCOs in India with regard to emoluments of Air India Pilots in India.

ATC Guild (I) is yet to receive any reply on the matter from the Airports Authority of India. However with regard to the pay package for ATCOs so as to make it in respectable ratio vis a vis Pilots pay in India, a suggestion is enclosed as Annexure C.

5. Perks and Benefits
5.1 Conveyance Allowance

Pilots in Air India are being given a sum equal to cost of 150 ltrs of petrol in addition to car for transportation to/fro Airport. ATCOs have been denied this facility on certain pretext or the other. It is suggested that all the ATCOs shall be given amount equal to cost of 100 ltrs petrol as conveyance Allowance.

5.2 Accommodation 

Accommodation has been real grey area so far with the ATCOs in India. This has to be addressed in a proper manner. It is proposed that all the ATCOs on their posting to the station shall be provided with reserved accommodation. This accommodation should be furnished, and equipped with telephone, as well as other modern amenities. Accommodations for the ATCOs shall be in a different zone than those of the staff.

5.3 HRD Allowance

This allowance shall be good enough to provide for purchase and update of ICAO Documents/Jeppesen Charts/ Computer peripheral etc. in order to ensure that ATCO are able to keep themselves up-to-date.

5.4 Transfer Incidental

ATCOs are liable to be transferred anywhere in India as per the requirement in public interest. It is proposed that the ATCOs shall be paid an amount equal to three months pay and airfare for the Journey.

5.5 TA/DA on Tour

For any official tour ATCO shall be given along-with tour-order, Air Passage Ticket (Railway AC class if not connected by air) reservations made, and total amount as entitled for DA for the period of tour. Officer shall not be asked to apply for advance or to do run-around for the purpose of reservations etc. Rate of DA shall be equal to the Lodging/Boarding charges levied by any Five Star ITDC Hotel for Single Room. 

5.6 Children Education Assistance

A minimum amount of 1000/- per month for schooling and 1500/- for higher studies for each child shall be paid to all ATCOs for the proper education of their wards.

5.7 Provisions of facilities for Physical/Mental fitness of the ATCOs

In order to ensure relief from stress of the job of ATCO it is recommended that relaxation methods shall be employed. It is necessary for such purpose to have facilities like Club/Gym etc where ATCOs can relax and recoup themselves from the stress of the job. 

6. Terminal Benefits

a) Retirement at the age of 50 years with full pension benefit shall be permissible for the ATCOs.

b) ATCOs shall be entitled to draw pension after 10 years of service and shall be given pension after retirement from the service at the following rate.

After 10 years of service 50% of the last pay drawn. Thereafter for each additional year of service 5% of last pay drawn, to a maximum of the 100% of the last pay drawn.

c) Medical Facility for self and family shall be provided post-retirement.

d) Insurance Cover shall be increased upto 10lacs.

e) In case of death of ATCO during the employment, employment for spouse/dependent on compassionate grounds shall be ensure within three months.

7. Victimisation of ATCOs
7.1 Officers involved in the Purulia Incident

ATC Guild (I) reiterates that officers involved in this incident are being victimised unnecessarily since they have performed duties rendered to them as an ATCO (Refer Directory of Duties enclosed as annexure D). The flaw whatsoever was there a lie within the procedure and system not with the officers who were acting as per laid down procedures and principals. ATCOs have acted in good faith and carried out duties meant to be performed by others, hence they shall not be victimised. The officers who have been punished shall be exonerated forthwith.

7.2 Availing of free/concessional Air Passage by ATCOs

Reference is invited to your office letter no. A.60011/25/97-PP Dt. 8th Jan 97 signed by Exe Dir (P&A), and ATC Guild (India) letters Dt. 30.07.96, Dt. 11.08.96, Dt. 4th Sept. 96, Dt. 09.09.96 Dt. 08.11.96. And Dt. 16th Dec 1996, 16th Jan 1997 on the subject. ATC Guild (India), request you to kindly; 

a) Issue necessary amendments to this letter of yours and exclude ATCOs, who are entitled to avail free/concessional Air Passage offered by various schedule/non-schedule Operators as courtesy as per IATA resolution. 

b) And, to withdraw the charge-sheets issued to the Officers in this regard, exonerate the officers who have been imposed with any kind of penalty whatsoever for their alleged illegal Free/concessional air travel, restore the benefits which were due to them and have been denied so far.

8. Other matters which have been addressed during the last year
8.1 UNIFORM

With regard to uniform it was informed by the Exe Dir (P &A) that the job of designing a suitable uniform for the employees of the AAI has been given to NIFT and the report from the same has not been received yet. The status as was mentioned earlier on the matter remains as it is.

8.2 PROMOTIONS FROM AO TO SAO - DENIAL TO CERTAIN OFFICERS:

Kindly refer ATC Guild (India) letter of 30.07.96, your office letter no. B-11015/1/96 Dt. 21.08.96, 4th Sept. 96, 09.09.96, and 16.12.96. 
ATC Guild (I) is pained to note that certain ATCOs in the Grade of AO has been denied promotions to the Grade of SAO, without any apparent reason what-so-ever, and despite repeated letters on the subject from ATC Guild (India) these ATCOs have not been promoted so far. As has been informed to the ATC Guild (India) these Officers who have denied promotions are largely those, whose names were not cleared by the Chief Vigilance Officer.

Although it has never been stated that what were the reasons of non-issuance of the clearance by the CVO. ATC Guild (India) objects very strongly to the, such high-handedness adopted by CVO, which is causing unrequired unrest among the ATCOs, and requests you to kindly order immediate Promotions of all such ATCOs who have been denied the same despite being fit.

8.3 PROMOTION FROM AAO TO AO 

Reference is invited to ATC Guild (India) letters dated 20/08/96, and 16.12.96 on the subject. In the letters mentioned above it was indicated that there are about 96 vacancies in the grade of AO, of which 48 are to filled through departmental promotions. Despite repeated requests on the subject no orders have been issued so far, which is causing avoidable unrest among the Officers. ATC Guild (India) requests you again to kindly issue executive orders for 48 promotions from the grade of AAO to the Grade of AO at the earliest. 

8.4 Performance Appraisal Report - Assessment of ATCOs

Reference is invited to your Office Confidential Letter no. PAC/1/2/MISC-97 Dt. 13th Jan 1997 and ATC Guild (India) letters dated 20.12.96 and 16.01.97 on the subject. 
Air Traffic Controllers' Guild (India), has suggested that in order to safeguard improvement in professionalism among ATCOs in India an open assessment of the Officers be conducted by a group of ATCOs from among themselves. If any officer is found lacking/wanting he be informed accordingly to improve upon. Nevertheless, ATC Guild (India) is of the view that any system which may breed favouritism, nepotism, sycophancy and victimisation shall be done away with at the earliest possible, and a system as explained above will work much better and enhance confidence of the ATCOs in the reporting system. This will be close to what has been mentioned in the DOC 9426 (ATS Planning Manual) regarding performance assessment of the ATCOs.
ATC Guild (India), has already advised its Member Officers, not to submit any PARs starting from this year. Hence it is earnestly requested that necessary orders regarding Performance Assessment System with regard to ATCOs in line with what has been suggested above may kindly be issued at earliest in order to make it effective from this year onward. 

8.5 Photo Identity Card - Airport Entry Permit

Kindly refer Air Traffic Controllers' Guild (India) letter dated 24.12.96. your attention to the following;

a) Airports Authority of India does not have any provision of the Photo Identity Card for its employees and employees are using Airport Entry Permits as a proof of their identity, whenever and wherever required.

b) Bureau of Civil Aviation Security who is issuing Airport Entry Permit has rendered this responsibility to the local police in case of major Airports and to the Aerodrome in-charge in case of other Airports. 

c) Owing to these two reasons employees of the AAI have to suffer almost everyday as they are being harassed by the Police Officers/Personnel who have been assigned with the duty of issuing these permits.

d) Hence ATC Guild (India) suggests that all the employees of the AAI shall be issued with Photo Identity Card of the AAI, which shall be issued from the CHQ in order to make it unique.

e) For all the Airports, which belong to the AAI, the authority to issue Airport Entry Permit shall remain with the AAI only. Interference of local Police shall be done away with as early as possible. 

8.6 Amendments to Transfer Policy - for ARA Directorate

Reference is invited to your office letter no. A60011/7/94-PP (Pt.) dated 4th Oct 1996, and ATC Guild (India) letters dt. 05/01/97, and 16.01.97.

It is requested that a draft of Transfer Policy incorporating amendments which have been suggested may please be prepared and be implemented with the coming transfer season. 

Looking forward to assist in all possible manners for the overall betterment of the Organisation.

Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,

 

(Brijendra Shekhar)
General Secretary

 

Copy:
To, 
Shri C. M. Ibrahim, 
Honourable Minister of Civil Aviation,
Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, Safdarjung Airport,
Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi 110 003.

The Secretary, 
Ministry of Civil Aviation, 
Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, Safdarjung Airport,
Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi 110 003.

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