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A&B Orders Air Traffic Controllers Have Medicals or Lose Jobs

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019
by bimjim ... lose-jobs/

A&B: Govt. Orders Air Traffic Controllers Have Medical Exams or Lose Jobs
July 26, 2019

Having air traffic controllers at aiport control towers in good physical and mental health is a must. Minister of Aviation Sir Robin Yearwood and the entire Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda have called on the Air Traffic Controllers to undergo their required medical examinations or risk being de-certified.

The medical examination is a requirement under the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which states in part, “none of the aviation licences [such as the air traffic controller licence] can be used for carrying out aviation duties without evidence that the holder of the licence meets the medical requirements for fitness.”

Speaking at the post-Cabinet press briefing, Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel Hurst said the statement by Cabinet was to “light a fire under their feet.”

“It has always been the case that they require medical certificates, but some have been balking. We want to make it public that all the Air Traffic Controllers must take these exams, so they won’t be de-certified. This is important because it takes a lot of money to train an Air Traffic Controller,” he said.

Re: A&B Orders Air Traffic Controllers Have Medicals or Lose Jobs

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019
by bimjim ... quirement/

Air traffic controllers want clarity in medical requirement
Robert A. Emmanuel
July 29, 2019

Last week, OBSERVER media reported that the administration, through the weekly Cabinet notes, requested that all air traffic controllers undergo a medical assessment as recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) or risk being de-certified.

During the recent post-Cabinet briefing, Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister’s Office, Lionel Hurst, said the statement was to “put the fire under the feet” of the air controllers.

However, the Guild of Antigua and Barbuda Air Traffic Controllers (GABATCO), through an email sent to our newsroom, made clear that Air Traffic Controllers were not averse to or rebuffing the government’s request to get a “free doctor’s visit”, but needed clear guidelines as to the conditions upon which air traffic controllers can be decertified or interdicted from their duties.

GABATCO’s general secretary Natasha Mussington, who penned the email, stated: “Many states internationally, including Antigua and Barbuda, do not require of their air traffic controllers to hold an Air Traffic Controller (ATC) license, once they have completed courses at, and received a certification from an appropriate ATC College.”

She continued: “In countries where controller licensing is mandatory, the employer—in most cases the government—implements a procedure to be followed, if an officer fails the medical examinations, that is, transferring the officer to another department without a reduction in the officer’s remuneration.”

OBSERVER also spoke yesterday with Wesley Joseph, Public Relations Officer for GABATCO, who noted that the requirement for an air traffic controller to undertake a medical examination was relatively new for the country, borne out of the recommendations of the ICAO.