Single European Sky – The Human Dimension is key to success!

The February 2010 Madrid Declaration on Single European Sky acknowledged “the human factor as the overriding enabler of change” but nothing has really happened in that respect since then. Air traffic controllers and pilots have decided to play an active role in shaping Europe’s future Air Traffic Management (ATM) system. IFATCA, representing 50.000 controllers globally, ATCEUC, representing 14.000 controllers in 26 European countries, and ECA, representing 38.600 pilots from across Europe, will develop a ‘Human Factor’ Roadmap to contribute to the major upcoming change process related to Single European Sky (SES) implementation.

It is the three professional staff organisations’ intention to make the so-called “5th Pillar” a driving force to address the paradigm shift in how Europe’s air traffic will be managed in future.Their joint roadmap will propose initiatives, solutions and best practices in topics like mobility,training, change management, human factor and performance and a new generation of professionals.

"The inclusion of the human operator as one of the pillars in the SES is a significant and essential step to involve the whole spectrum of the human dimension in this important undertaking. Recent examples have shown that the operators in the control towers and cockpits are crucial to a sustainable growth of the aviation sector" says Zeljko Oreski, Executive Vice President Europe, IFATCA.

“All ATM actors must work together to assist this huge change management process. It will be the purpose of our joint Road Map. The representative organisations of pilots and air traffic controllers wish to contribute with realism and expertise to the success of SES where safety must prevail”, says Volker Dick, President of ATCEUC.

"The SES implementation and SESAR deployment represent a paradigm shift for ATM” says Philip von Schöppenthau, ECA Secretary General.“The introduction of new operational concepts and technologies will only succeed if the people who will operate in this new ATM environment are fully involved and prepared for these changes. Even the greatest technologies will fail if we neglect the human operator.”

“Everybody is keen to preserve, or even improve, our safety records in Europe’s busy skies. The Single European Sky 5th Pillar needs to be carefully planned and executed, as it is an essential “de-risk exercise” to ensure aviation safety is not compromised” adds Nico Voorbach, ECA President.  


For further information, please contact:

A. Brathwaite, IFATCA President & CEO, Tel: +1-514-866.7040

V. Dick, ATCEUC President, Tel: +32-473.94.93.89

N. Voorbach, ECA President, Tel: +31-62-707.56.92

P. von Schöppenthau, ECA Secretary General, Tel: +32-2-705.32.93



More information about the Madrid Declaration and ‘The Roadmap towards implementing Single European Sky II’ is available at

Download the press release here.