The Power of Synergy: IFATCA supports Dominican Republic ATCOs

In a show of support, the IFATCA has written the Director General of the Dominican Republic Civil Aviation Authority (IDAC) on behalf of the country’s air traffic controllers to address safety-related issues.


In a show of support, the international Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA) has written the Director General of the Dominican Republic Civil Aviation Authority (IDAC) on behalf of the country’s air traffic controllers.

In a letter dated February 26, 2014, IFATCA highlighted a list of safety-related issues in the Dominican Republic’s ATC system. The letter is republished here in it’s entirety:

Honorable Dr. Herrera Rodriguez:

The Federation has become aware of several safety-related issues surrounding air traffic control in the Dominican Republic, instances which have been reported to you by the duly recognized representative of the air traffic controllers, the Dominican Association of Air Traffic Controllers (ADCA).

The Federation finds it unfortunate that instead of working with the ADCA to address these and other safety issues, authorities have resorted to suspensions, demotions and other intimidating forms of retaliation against the air traffic controllers of the ADCA. We find these actions to be unsubstantiated, without merit and unethical. The ADCA has communicated with your office no less than eleven times in the last year concerning safety related issues in the Dominican Republic air traffic control system, and your office has not replied a single time. The Federation believes this is unacceptable.

The Dominican Republic has a responsibility to the international community to provide safe and efficient air traffic services to the users utilizing properly trained and qualified staff. As of the writing of this letter, this is not the case. IFATCA works together with other international organizations such as IFALPA and ICAO and we are prepared to voice our concerns regarding the safety of air travel to the Dominican Republic to these international pilot and regulatory authorities. We ask your immediate attention to these issues to prevent a negative reaction from the users of the Dominican Republic’s air traffic control system.

Dr. Herrera Rodriguez, IFATCA’s goals are to promote safety, efficiency and professionalism in international air traffic control. We assist and advise member nation organizations such as the ADCA, and in this spirit we urge you to meet with representatives of the ADCA in order to take all necessary steps to correct these safety related issues before something tragic occurs.

The Federation is confident that this approach will allow the Dominican Republic to succeed in the challenging task of returning air traffic equipment and services to a high level of safety and efficiency, using the well trained and professional air traffic controllers of the ADCA.

Our Federation stands ready to assist you in any reasonable manner in returning the Dominican Republic’s air traffic control system to one of safety, reliability and regularity in an atmosphere of trust and respect, utilizing properly trained air traffic controllers from within the duly recognized representative of the controllers, the ADCA.

Our Federation fully supports a real, genuine commitment to this undertaking. The issues we raise in this letter, and the issues raised by the ADCA in their correspondence to you, are vital to the re-establishment of safe, orderly and efficient air traffic services in your country and can no longer be ignored.

I trust that this letter will receive your full consideration.


Alexis Brathwiate
President and Chief Executive Officer

The purpose of the post is not the highlight the problems in the Dominican Republic ATC system, which I am sure will be dealt with expeditiously, but to recognize the power of synergy. Whatever strength we possess as individuals is a fraction of what we can leverage collectively. The synergy of air traffic controllers worldwide is precisely why IFATCA was formed over 50 years ago.

At the local level, the Dominican ATC Association (ADCA) must have brought some pressure to bear on their employers, with some measure of success, but the big guns of IFATCA will likely break the dam and deliver a greater measure of success. I will find it hard to believe, with the whole world watching, that the safety-related issues raised, will be ignored by IDAC. The correspondence is not confrontational, but one of support - working together to resolve the issues.

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey posits that “two heads are better than one,” and that teamwork, open-mindedness, and adventure find new solutions to old problems. This of course doesn’t just happen, but it is a process, and through that process, people bring all their personal experience and expertise to the table.

There are very few things that we benefit from today that are not a result of synergy. When people begin to interact together genuinely, and they’re open to each other’s influence, they begin to gain new insight. The capability of inventing new approaches is increased exponentially because of differences.

Together with the rest of the world of air traffic controllers, I stand in support of the Dominican controllers to resolve their safety issues. For controllers that are not yet bonded by an association, I implore you to tear down the boundaries and leverage the power of synergy.

One Response

[…] The Dominican Republic’s aviation authority (IDAC) is locked in a dispute with their air traffic controllers. A letter was dispatched to IDAC from IFATCA last week in support of the controllers. Obviously, this necessitated a response from IDAC which came two days later. I published the letter from IFATCA on this blog with a clear attempt to highlight the point of SYNERGY. […]

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About Wayne Farley

Wayne Farley I am Wayne, an aviation safety evangelist who once made my living working in the control tower. Engage me while I share my thoughts, experience, and news from the aviation world. After writing "13 Characteristics of an air traffic controller" in 2010, it went viral and established me as an unofficial ambassador for ATC. Read more.

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