Renz Marione Bulseco (Davao Approach)
As we all know, aviation has been one of the most important modes of transport for people across the globe. And when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, the world stopped. No one was prepared for it. One of the hardest-hit industries was the aviation industry. As many people could not travel during this period, demand for air travel dropped drastically. And with that, airline companies had no choice but to lay off or furlough pilots and cabin crew. Air traffic controllers around the world bore the brunt of this global pandemic. They, too, weren’t spared. Some were furloughed, and others lost their jobs. But we are resilient. Air traffic controllers around the world continued to perform their duties despite the challenges they faced. In times like these, we need to support one another as members of this global community, the IFATCA.
2022 marks a significant milestone for the aviation industry, especially in the air traffic service. This year, we celebrated the 100th year of ATC. This was celebrated simultaneously through a video conference during the regional meetings in The Americas, Europe, Africa & the Middle East, and the Asia and Pacific regions. No matter how the technology in air traffic control changes in the future, one thing will always remain the same – the dedication and commitment of air traffic controllers to ensure safe and smooth flight operations for aircraft worldwide. It can never be replaced by a computer. Indeed, we are truly irreplaceable and indispensable. This alone is reason enough to celebrate the achievements of our predecessors over the past 100 years.
We hope we will succeed in continuing to uphold the legacy of air traffic control to ensure that we can provide the best possible service to our aviation stakeholders in the decades and centuries to come. The year 2023 will be the first year after the 100th year of ATC. A new century to look forward to. Let us continue working together as one strong family to aspire for greater heights in our professional and humanitarian endeavors in the global air transport industry.