“It is with extreme sadness and unease that ATCEUC, the Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination, addresses the recent decision from the Swiss Prosecutors of charging an Air Traffic Controller in the aftermath of an aviation incident where no injuries or damages were observed and after that the event having been properly investigated by the aviation authorities. It is the second time it has happened in Switzerland in less than one year,” says Volker Dick, President of ATCEUC.
“ATCEUC”, he continues, “since 2010, after the introduction of Just Culture through Reg. 691, and together with the other ATM Social Partners, has been working in a common effort to promote this Culture not only in the whole aviation domain but in all the High Consequence Industries.”
“Now this joint effort risks to be completely frustrated by the decision of Swiss Prosecutors”.
“The aim of the Just Culture is not to give to ATCOs and other ATM Professionals the freedom to do, during their job, what they want, it is the opposite!” says Jean-Denis Larrere, Vice President of ATCEUC. “A Just Culture is to give them the certainty they will not be punished for their honest mistakes because only after a deep analysis of those mistakes, shortcomings and inconsistencies of the rules can be identified and amended, whilst if neglected, they can lead to tragic consequences. This goal can be reached only if every Professional is encouraged to report any safety related issues she/he might commit, observe or predict”.“By acting in this way, Swiss Prosecutors are endangering not only the whole Swiss ATCOs community but the safety of Aviation across the European continent.”
ATCEUC while expressing the maximum solidarity and broader support for the involved ATCO and all their Swiss colleagues, is informing the European Commission of this risk.
At the same time, ATCEUC urges the Swiss Legislators to quickly review their national approach in similar cases, implementing the “Just Culture” principles in accordance with the highest international standards already ongoing in other States.
For questions or further information, please contact Jean-Denis Larerre, [email protected]
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