ATC Issues A place where pilots may enter the 'lions den' that is Air Traffic Control in complete safety and find out the answers to all those obscure topics which you always wanted to know the answer to but were afraid to ask.


Old 19th Dec 2009, 20:49
  #1 (permalink)  
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Hi All

I just want to get the opinion of other ATCs regarding our issue with our administration.

Our Civil Service Commission plans to change our ATCO designation to ATMO (Air Traffic Management Officer). No big deal I say; it's just a title. But the thing that intrigues me the most is that, with this directive, all ATS personnel will become ATMOs irrespective of the sector that they are working. Tower, Approach and Area personnel will share the same responsibility (not to mention salary) as Airways Communications, Flight Information, Aerodrome Advisory and Flight Planning/Briefing Officers.

The ATC union has widely contested this but to no avail.

The implications are very obvious but can anyone please comment on this.

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Old 20th Dec 2009, 07:51
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Thumbs up

Globally what was once Air Traffic Control is now known as ATM, so I guess there is nothing in a name, the real issue would of course be changes in terms and conditions of individual ATMO roles.

It is a bit amateurish if the civil service think that a change in title is an opportunity to reduce costs.

Nice to see someone from the Philippines here, one of my favourite places in the world.

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Old 20th Dec 2009, 17:29
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To IThink

Thanks for the comment. Im a fan of the forum, just lurking most of the time.

As I said, I have no issues with the change in our designation. I just don't agree with the idea that soon, an aerodrome controller's decision is more the same as a flight information services' advice.

With our current set-up, I don't need to research (when it comes to job description), that a ground controller is the same as an enroute controller as they are both ATCOs manning different sectors. It's pretty much self-explanatory. With the new proposal, a terminal radar controller is the same as a flight following officer as they are both ATMOs manning different sectors. I, and my fellow ATCs don't get it.
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Old 20th Dec 2009, 17:33
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I think ATMO is a misnomer. "Air Traffic Control Officer" describes the job precisely. I controlled aircraft for 35-odd years. A "Manager" is someone who wanders around a furniture store....

(Exits stage left, climbs into flameproof Chieftain Tank and drives off into the sunset...)
Old 20th Dec 2009, 19:07
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Not so fast in that flame-proof Chieftain.
You're spot on.
Those who can, do.
Those who can't do, teach. (O.K there are exceptions here).
Those who excel in neither of the above fields, call themselves 'managers'.

P.S. Don't get me started on 'Consultants', 'Co-ordinators', 'Business Partners', or those self-proclaimed 'Experts' who are frequently interviewed on the BBC.

It seems to me that 'losers' who can't make the 'officer class', often worm their way into positions of authority where they attempt to undermine or demean those who can.
Hope all's well in Manila. Keep pushing the envelope!

Last edited by ZOOKER; 20th Dec 2009 at 19:47.
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Old 20th Dec 2009, 21:16
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Hope all's well in Manila. Keep pushing the envelope!
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Old 21st Dec 2009, 00:09
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amihan - you're right to be concerned.

Fight that one all the way.
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Old 21st Dec 2009, 06:24
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More than just an ATCO
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all ATS personnel will become ATMOs irrespective of the sector that they are working
It seem s to be change for the sake of change.
However, if there are different grades within that structure then the status quo will be maintained?
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Old 21st Dec 2009, 13:13
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Why keep the term 'officer'?
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Old 21st Dec 2009, 18:27
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So long as they pay you...who cares what they call you?
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Old 21st Dec 2009, 20:00
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Agree with HD and MAP, we are Air Traffic Controllers, we tell aircraft where to go and what to do, what has that got to do with management?
I think the term Officer goes back to the 1950's with the old war boys who probably felt a sense of superiority with the term 'Officer'.
Management tend to walk around corridors holding pieces of paper, probably blank, a bit like most of their ideas.........
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Old 21st Dec 2009, 22:24
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@ divingduck
I'm with you - as my departed father-in-law used to say - "you can call me anything you like, as long as it's not late for dinner !"
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Old 21st Dec 2009, 22:29
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We welcome change, it comes with the profession.

However, if with the change comes the fact that two people with different levels of training and expertise are to be regarded as equal, then that is unacceptable and unfair I believe.
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Old 22nd Dec 2009, 17:13
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Sorry to say I have worked with many Air Traffic Observers and Air Traffic Suggesters in my time... in all fairness, plenty of controllers too..the controllers were the ones who didn't care what our title was, as then man said, just so long as they pay us on time
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Old 23rd Dec 2009, 12:24
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Well, I've always considered ATM to mean air traffic services, airspace management and air traffic flow management. As an ATCO I thus consider my duties to include in addition to just air traffic control service also
flight information service, alerting service and air traffic advisory service. So I guess ATM officer might even be a more suitable title than just ATCO.

Of course what I'm paid big bucks () for providing is actual air traffic control service, keeping aircraft from hitting each other and so on, and the people who only provide let's say flight information get paid quite a lot less. Why ATCOs get more money may in some cases only be a result of effective labour union policy, but ATC is what flyboys usually want to receive, not just FIS so I guess it's only fair.

I don't really mind if a flight information service officer's decision is equal to mine, after all it only applies in his field of service. I mean, as long as people are competent, (and ATCOs get the money they deserve ) what is the real problem even if you are all included under the same title?
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Old 23rd Dec 2009, 18:43
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I think it is fair to say that these days managers reorganise, seemingly because they continually get it wrong! We are at the start of yet another re-org only a few months since the last shambles!
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Old 23rd Dec 2009, 20:37
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Air Traffic Controllers do exactly that, control aircraft, "whats in a name as long as they pay me on time"? nothing, but management do not change anything without looking at changing other things, terms and conditions are the normal ones. Unless of course you work, and have worked in places where management are great and understand and listen to the concerns of the staff and do not do such stupid things as change terms and conditions. If this is the case you are making then let me know who your current employer is and your previous employers, they must be brilliant to work for.
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Old 12th Jan 2010, 16:16
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ATCO not equal with ATMO

It's easier to say, "Who cares what they call us as long as they pay us?!" True, because after all, we work in order to survive and at the end of the day, it's how much we bring home for our family that matters most. But that's not always the case. It's a whole lot different issue if they change the name and not change the salary but instead make it equal to those who are not our equal. "Just compensation for a service done", as they say. But where is justice here if we don't receive what we deserve?

We underwent grueling, excruciating months just to pass the training; took up exams to get our ATC license; and still underwent trainings both conventional and procedural in the facility of assignment just to get the ratings. We have both administrative and criminal liabilities because we handle billions worth of properties and invaluable lives of the flying public. And then all of a sudden, we become one with those who did not take the same training and licensure exams and facility ratings? We receive the same salary and benefits with those who only transmit weather information, give traffic advisory and all those who work in the flight information service? Have they failed to see the difference between "control' and "advisory"? They're just a couple of simple words but they mean differently and have entirely different scope.

That's what the people in the Civil Service (and even those heads in the ATS department) failed to see. And if that's the case that the delineation is gone, what's the ATC license for? It's all travesty. An insult to our profession!
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Old 12th Jan 2010, 17:43
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There is one upside to becoming an Air Traffic Manager in my experience. That is that when I changed my occupation on my frequent flyer card from ATCO to ATM, I started getting upgrades. This is after 30 years of never having been upgraded. Coincidence - maybe. But I'd be interested to hear if any other ex-ATCO's suddenly find they are getting more upgrades as ATMs.
See you all in business class.

On the beach
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Old 12th Jan 2010, 18:12
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On the beach.. An ex-colleague of mine, who happened to be the most senior operational ATCO at Heathrow at the time, had business cards printed saying "SATCO Heathrow" (or words to that effect). It sure worked..... until large amounts of stuff hit the fan!!

Just another thought on the thread... If you required the assistance of the Police, would you prefer to deal with a "Police Officer" or a "Police Manager"?

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