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Member Weekly Update – Edition #18

May 21, 2021

Member Weekly Update – Edition #18

Please find the latest edition of weekly updates to the membership about ongoing Union business.

Our most recent traffic statistics reveal that levels in most general aviation airports remain high and are in many cases surpassing 2019 levels. While the recent re-evaluation of the Level of Service (LOS) reviews being conducted on several towers by NAV Canada was very welcome news for our membership and the aviation community, the lack of an alternative staffing plan by the Company is troubling. It is important to note that the LOS reviews are still ongoing as NAV Canada looks to reduce hours of operation rather than outright closures.

Many towers continue to feel the pressure to address rising traffic levels with insufficient and declining staff. The consequent increase in single stand time, overtime, and decreased opportunities for leave negatively impact the employees there. Degradation in the level of safety as a result of higher levels of fatigue and burnout are the result. CATCA continues to press the Employer to act quickly to address the need to resume training and increase staffing. The same situation will undoubtedly be arising in many other units, including the ACCs, before long. As the post-pandemic recovery gains momentum and restrictions continue to ease, the severe impact of decisions taken by the Company regarding staffing will be felt throughout the operation.

The Executive Board (EB) recognizes that members face fatigue issues (i.e. time in position during midnights, etc.). CATCA will be meeting with NAV Canada for an information briefing surrounding the ongoing fatigue problems. It is CATCA’s intention to do a reset on fatigue with a CATCA-NAV Canada Fatigue Group to address issues for CATCA Members only. The current committee on fatigue is a more general forum addressing other issues not all related to our working conditions. A one-size fits all approach is not in the best interest of fatigue and aviation safety.

The EB would like to thank Members for taking the time to submit Safety Occurrences through the online Reporting Tool; a significant number of reports have been received. Members have requested information on other available methods of reporting safety issues or hazardous situations in addition to the Reporting Tool.  In response, we provide the following information about two other platforms for reporting safety violations should you feel the situation warrants it: Sentinel and SECURITAS.

Sentinel is NAV Canada’s anonymous whistleblowing program. Through Sentinel, employees can escalate any Company issue that they believe requires reporting.

All employees are encouraged to report concerns or complaints regarding:

  • violation of laws or regulations;
  • NAV Canada’s accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters, including those that could harm the reputation and/or financial standing of the Company;
  • fraudulent practices relating to the Company’s Pension Plan;
  • ethical, legal or others concerns that could harm the reputation and/or financial standing of the Company;
  • violations of company policies;
  • known or suspected instances of fraud or corruption

Rest assured, your identity is completely protected unless you choose to identify yourself or are required to depending on the laws in your country. Once your report has been filed, the appropriate individuals charged with investigating the report will receive it instantly. The decision to act or not act remains solely with them unless required to do so by law. The Investigation Team is not required to disclose its response or actions pursuant to your report and intentional misreporting may be an actionable offense. Information on how to submit a Sentinel report can be found here.

SECURITAS is a Transportation Safety Board reporting platform where Air Traffic Controllers, among other industry professionals, can report their concerns in an interest to advance transportation safety through the identification of fundamental safety deficiencies. More information about submitting a report and what you should or should not report to SECURITAS can be found here. Do not provide False or Misleading reports.

An example from the SECURITAS documentation for Air Traffic Controllers would be as follows:

Unsafe procedures and practices
Air traffic control practices that could jeopardize the safety of flight, e.g., use of non-standard phraseology, compromising separation criteria, inadequate manning and supervision

Information on how to submit a report to SECURITAS can be found here; please refer to pages 3, 10, and 12.

As a reminder, the waiver issued August 4, 2020, titled Operational Proficiency Program Temporary Changes, expires June 30, 2021. Due to the continued impact that COVID-19 has had on the Operational Proficiency Program (OPP), NAV Canada is issuing this waiver again to temporarily bridge the gap for complying with non-surveillance competency requirements without providing classroom training simulation or other means permitted by ATSAMM. This waiver applies to ATSAMM PRF-1425 on Ensuring Non-Surveillance Competency (PERF). It permits affected ACC specialties to provide PERF training in the form of mandatory reading information rather than complying with the requirements of ATSAMM. It is important to reiterate that this is not intended to replace PERF, but rather to provide an alternate means of training while pandemic restrictions are in place.

All ACC specialties that provide PERF training must publish a unit directive for mandatory reading that summarizes the procedures in place to ensure non-surveillance competency in these specialties. This directive must be published and effective no later than June 30, 2021. More information can be found here.

CATCA understands how difficult the situation is right now for many of our members. Should you require assistance, your RVP and Branch Chairs are available to you. EAP services are always accessible to provide support; click here or here.

On Behalf of the Executive Board;

Doug Best                                                                            Scott Loder
President                                                                             Executive Vice President

Click here for the PDF.