A Committee proposed and formed by AAI on its own, with members of its own choice.
On April 2, 1997, Shri Ranjan Chatterjee the then Chairman of AAI, under signature as Chairman AAI and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation ordered formation of this committee.
The Airports Authority of India set up a committee with the following members on 2nd April 1997:
Shri Bimal Julka
IAS, Director, Ministry of Civil Aviation - Chairman
Shri P C Goel
Director Air Routes & Aerodromes (Ops), Airports Authority of India
Capt. Ron Nagar
Dy. Operational Manager, Indian Airlines
The terms of reference of the committee were:
To examine the cadre profile of the Air Traffic Controllers and to suggest the career progression/career plan.
To suggest the organisation structure of the Air Traffic Management, and
To examine the remuneration profile.
The Committee submitted its report on 1st September 1997.
The recommendations of the committee were:
11.1 It is essential that the personnel of ATC Division have the right qualification and training. We, therefore,
recommend that the minimum qualification of admission to the ATC Division should necessarily include preference for CPL
holders/candidates with basic knowledge of computers so that keeping in view the technological changes that are taking place
in the field of Air Traffic Management the fresh recruits are equipped to handle the equipments on the field.
11.2 The maximum age limit could also be however restricted to 25 years.
11.3 In view of the fact that English is the expected language for radio communications in India
and most parts of the world, qualification for admission should be proficiency in the English language and its pronunciation.
11.4 All new entrants to the ATC Division should be subjected to rigorous training and remain on
probation for 3 years and should be subjected to intensive programme of theoretical institution and practical training in the
11.5 The programme should be constantly upgraded in accordance with ICAO regulations and courses
should be standardised from time to time.
11.6 Air Force personnel seeking pre-mature retirement
from their parent organisation with ATC experience could be considered
for induction with specially modified training for performing the
functions of Air Traffic Controller.
Reorganisation of the administrative set up
11.7 It is seen that the Operations Department of the AAI has not kept pace with growth of
aeronautical developments in the field of civil aviation. The main points which require attention are:
a) ATC Personnel- their strength, recruitment, initial and refresher training
b) Technical Equipment, types of equipments, specifications, provisions of procedures, programme for their maintenance and
c) Procedures/systems – effective use of the equipment and personnel to meet the needs of civil aviation sector.
d) Strengthening of coordination and planning amongst various divisions of AAI so that a coordinated approach could be
adopted for implementation of policies and programmes with regard to air safety and air traffic management.
11.8 There is an urgent need for immediately reorganising/ revitalising the existing civil
Aviation Training Units at Hyderabad and Allahabad. There is a need for coordination amongst the personnel of these two units
so that the training aid and facilities both in terms of equipment and personnel available could be strengthened and
modernised from time to time.
11.9 In order to meet the shortage of ATCOs at present, the CPL holders should be permitted to
join ATC Cadre by subjecting them to intensive training at CATC, Allahabad and for all future recruitment, as per the
practice followed earlier, CPL holders should become an essential criterion for selection in the ATC cadre. The Management
may consider a contract so that CPL holders who undertake training stay with the organisation for some stable period.
11.10 The advance planning of recruitment of personnel required for operations and for manning of
various air traffic units taking into consideration facilities like radar, extension of control airspace, airways etc. to
meet the needs of air traffic over our skies has to be made with a long term perspective in view.
11.11 The competent authority should introduce the scheme of licensing and adherence to medical
standards for air traffic controllers and make it mandatory for all concerned. A system of periodical medical fitness checks
should also be introduced at the earliest.
11.12 At regional/field stations, the level of supervision needs up-gradation and therefore the
following is recommended:
1. At International Airports
a) Watch Supervisory Officer: WSO should be in the grade of Airport Director (may be named as joint Director);
b) Unit Supervisor: The important Units at international airports should be under direct supervision of unit supervisor
in the grade of Deputy Director.
c) In-charge of Simulator Training: Wherever simulators have been installed at airports for training purpose, it should
be placed under the charge of an Airport Director grade officer with instructors in the grade of Dy. Director;
d) In-charge of Training (without simulator): The in-charge of Training at international airports where there is no
simulator should be in the grade of Dy Director and the Instructors should be in the Grade of Sr. Aerodrome Officer from
amongst the proposed Executive ATCOs.
2. Other than International Airports
Each Shift should have a Supervisor in the grade of Sr. Aerodrome Officer/Executive ATCO and instructors for on-the-job
training also should be Sr. Aerodrome Officer/Executive ATCO.
11.13 In order to meet the immediate shortage of ATCOs, each officer at the executive level should
maintain his ratings current and should perform a minimum number of hours of ATC duty in a month to be fixed by the
management. To restructure the cadre of Air Traffic Controllers, the Committee recommends that the Operational Directorate
from the Board level downwards in AAI should be manned by officers with background of air traffic management services.
11.14 ATC Duty allowance should be implemented to facilitate people to perform ATC Duty, which should
be applicable to the executive cadre also. It would enhance productivity of each individual thereby enabling the management
to address the issue of shortages in ATC Cadre at a more economical cost to the organisation.
11.15 Safety/Audit Board: - It is recommended that an independent Directorate of Air Safety may be
set up directly under the management and control of Chairman, AAI.
11.16 Insurance and pension facilities may be considered on the pattern of Indian Airlines or any
other Government institution.
11.17 Operational Manual: - At the time of recruitment,
each air Traffic Controller should be provided with an operational
manual clearly indicating the duties and responsibilities enclosing a
compendium of aeronautical circulars relevant to their job so as to act
as guiding principle in discharging of day-to-day responsibilities as is
the practice followed in the case of pilots.
Uniqueness of profession
11.18 Various explanatory studies conducted to study the nature of job dimension of ATCOs have
suggested that the ATCOS are subjected to a lot of stress and strain in discharge of their functions. The Air Traffic
Controllers (ATCOs) are generally considered on of the working groups having to deal with a highly demanding job. In fact,
their job entails complex set of tasks requiring very high level of knowledge and expertise, as well as the practical
application of specific skills pertaining to cognitive domains (e.g. spatial perception, information processing, logical
reasoning, decision making), communicative aspects and human relations. The stresses have been attributed to the following
a) Heavy traffic.
b) Outdated equipment and frequent equipment failures.
c) Shift Duty.
d) Slow career development and opportunities.
e) Lack of proper housing facility.
f) Low monetary incentives.
g) Poor maintenance of airports.
h) Frequent transfers etc.
11.19 These stress factors can affect not only job satisfaction, but the well being and safety of ATCOs. In fact, as the workload increases the ATCOs tend to employ more procedures, which are less time consuming, together
with the progressive reduction to the minimum of flight information and the relaxation of certain self-imposed qualitative
criterion. It is also seen that many errors often occur during period of light or non-complex traffic. This points to the
great effort required to regulate psycho-physical reaction, maintaining high level of arousal and vigilance even in condition
11.20 The Studies have indicated that one or combination of the factors stated above leads to certain
significant changes in the physiological patterns that may hamper in a major way like “Sleep disturbance” and disturbance in
cardiac rhythm. In order to cope up with the stresses of the job, it is, therefore, recommended that there is a need for
personnel such as air traffic controllers and associated staff engaged in a highly responsible and sensitive work to be
provided not only with good working conditions but also reasonable facilities in the nature of jobs that they do.
11.21 It is recommended that the project of modernisation
of air traffic services at Delhi and Mumbai Airport, which is under
implementation by M/s Raytheon of U.S.A., should be made functional at
the earliest. On its becoming operational, it would establish an
automated ATC centre with objective of achieving enhanced traffic
handling capability with utmost flight safety. The automation will
reduce delays and landings and take-off of aircraft. The similar
infrastructure at other airports also needs to be upgraded at the
11.22 It is proposed that: -
i) ATCOs should be provided with restrooms/dormitories suitably furnished and equipped at airports where they
have to work in stressful conditions. A Kitchenette could be provided at stations where there are 24 hours operations.
ii) The rooms of ATCOs should be adequately insulated and air conditioning work areas to be provided so that reasonable
temperature are maintained and it is free from dust which is essential for efficient use of modern equipment.
iii) Comfortable working conditions are essential for efficient working.
11.23 In a block period of 4 years, the fully rated Executive ATCOs should be given an opportunity to
familiarise with the ATC systems, procedures, technical developments etc. at least once of a neighbouring country in the
Asian Region and once in a developed country or ATC centres like UK, USA etc.
11.24 Other ATCOs having at least two ATC ratings i.e. Aerodrome control and Area Control at
International Airports/ACC Centres should be deputed to visit and familiarise with the ATC Centres in neighbouring countries
once in four years.
11.25 The ATC officers with at least 2 ratings should be provided the facility of fully paid
membership of well-established libraries like American Library, British Council etc.
11.26 All Executive ATCOs should be reimbursed private telephone bills upto 650 calls.
11.27 Executive ATCOs above 45 years of age should be permitted to attend Yoga/Meditation classes
fully paid at least once a year.
11.28 The AAI should have permanent arrangement with management institutes like IIM at Calcutta,
Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Lucknow and other institutes like MDI, Gurgaon, Management Institute at Hyderabad etc. to ensure
that the Executive ATC Officers undergo various training programs on stress management etc.
11.29 The Executive ATCOs should be provided computer loans on priority to facilitate
self-development of the individuals.
11.30 It is recommended that the management may consider granting 50% concession on airfare to be
extended to all ATCOs on domestic sector in coordination with airline operators.
11.31 The management must aim at effecting proper
coordination between civil and military ATC locations and achieve better
coordination keeping in view the rapid increase in air traffic.
11.32 Considering the specialised nature of work performed by the ATCOs, the Committee recommends the rating
allowance to be revised as under: -
a) Ground Control (SMC) Rs. 1,000/-
b) Aerodrome Control (TWR) Rs. 2,000/-
* Entitle to either (a) or (b)
c) En-route Control (FIC) Rs. 1,000/-
d) Area Control (ACC) Rs. 2,000/-
# Entitle to either (c) or (d)
e) ASR/MSSR Rs. 3,000/-
f) ARSR/MSSR Rs. 2,000/-
g) Automatic Dependent Surveillance(ADS) Rs. 1,000/-
Valid for those who have not qualified and draw any other Radar
ATC Duty Allowance: The Committee recommends that the air traffic controllers be paid ATC Duty Allowance to rated ATCOs for
the duty performed in the ATC Units @ 2% per hour of the basic pay. The payment should however be subject of the following
stipulated condition: -
a) The officers should have performed a minimum number of 90 hours of duty in a month to qualify for this
allowance. In this case, he shall be paid for the entire duty performed during the month.
2.1 It is the considered view of the committee that the officer at the senior level should be encouraged to do
channel duties for which similar allowance could be paid.
2.2 The management however, should ensure that the duty time limitation should be evolved, if necessary, so that an ATCO is able to perform the required number of duty hours in a calendar day.
Flight Data processing Allowance: Each ATCO is required to keep updated the flight data and process it on a continuous basis
and the process has to be free of any errors. It is therefore recommended that ATCOs who do not qualify for rating allowance
could be paid a sum of Rs 1000/- as flight data processing allowance.
OJT Allowance: The ATCOs who are assigned with instructional duties should be paid 25% of the basic pay as OJT allowance for
the duty performed.
CATC Allowance: It was noted by the Committee that the CATC instructors are being paid additional amount of nearly 25% of the
basic pay for duties performed as instructors and that this allowance needs to be raised considering the vital role performed
by instructors in grooming the new recruits for the sensitive nature of duties to be performed by them.
It is, therefore, recommended that CATC Instructors be paid 50% of their basic pay and 100% of the rating allowance as is
applicable to other ATCOs posted on active stations. This would provide a lot of encouragement and motivation to the trainers
in discharging their duties. It would also promise an attractive career and adequate level of inspiration to be posted to
Executive Allowance: It is suggested that all Executive ATCOs be paid an executive allowance, which would be equivalent to
25% of the basic pay.
Stress Allowance: The stress allowance should continue to be paid as per existing rules.
Grievance Cell: A grievance cell in AAI should be constituted for periodical review of problems faced by ATCOs so that
redressal mechanism could be put in place.