Dear IFATSEA Members and ATSEP Colleagues around the Globe,
What a year! Who could have guessed 365 days ago where we are today? Almost the entire year has been dominated by the Corona pandemic and there is still no end in sight. You have all had your own experiences and probably could not save yourselves from all the news, reports, and stories about this topic. I sincerely hope that no one personally or anyone in the family is or has been seriously ill and that there have been no fatalities at all. In view of the exorbitant number of cases on several continents this may already be wishful thinking.
The economic situation of several ANSPs should also be well known. Air Traffic has historically collapsed, and revenue is lacking. We have hardly noticed anything of this, at least financially, so far. Now times are bad. In accordance with the charging system, which must function equally well in good and bad times it is now only logical that airspace users must compensate for the financial losses of ANSPs by raising charges. Or States, or better saying the taxpayers, compensate running costs to continue in providing the safety critical infrastructure of the ATM/CNS Systems. This is how our system is working today.
The financing of air navigation services must certainly be reviewed and be improved. Crises like Corona are currently not envisaged. Despite all these problems, ATSEP together with other front-line actors, remain at the forefront in full operational availability, providing uninterruptedly their services ATSEP are committed that the CNS and ATM systems in the ACCs, TWR, Airports
or at the mountain tops, are properly functioning to provide accurate and precise information to ATCOs and Cockpit Crews directly, ensuring safety and efficiency. Moreover, the ATSEP critical role is shown more clearly when service was quickly restored in times of critical outages or natural disasters.
In this spirit, I wish you, your families and loved ones a peaceful and happy Season, a Happy New Year and good health for 2021.
Your Thorsten Wehe