NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Department of Civil Aviation in celebration of the inaugural “Aviation Week” hosted the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Associations (IFATCA) 39th Americas Regional Meeting – October 25-27, 2023.
The meeting was held in The Bahamas, as the country experienced overall tourism air and sea arrivals ahead of the previous year’s numbers, and the industry remains on a steady course of having another record-shattering performance.
This was observed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments, and Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper, who officially opened the three-day meeting held at Baha Mar resort on Cable Beach.
Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis declared October 21 to 28, 2023 “Aviation Week,” which reflected on the Department of Aviation’s National Aviation Strategic Plan (NASP), regarded as promoting sustainable advancement of the local aviation sector. The plan was launched in July 2023.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Cooper, the government, in its Blueprint for Change committed to best practices in keeping with international aviation standards.
“Undoubtedly, our success comes as a result of the hard work and commitment of the many industry professionals, who helped us navigate through a crippling pandemic and positioned us to stand tall among the global leaders in tourism and aviation recovery,” he said.
Dr. Kenneth Romer, Director of Aviation and Deputy Director General of Tourism in his message underscored the importance of hosting the regional aviation meeting.
“Hosting this year’s IFATCA Regional Meeting, as part of this first-ever Aviation Week is a manifested component of the National Strategy that seeks to strengthen collaboration among industry stakeholders and enhance human capital development,” he said.
Remarks were also brought by Hinsey McKenzie, president of the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union; Trish Gilbert, Executive Vice-President of Americas Region, IFATCA; and Lenn King, Director, of Bahamas Air Navigation Services Authority (BANSA).
The meeting addressed topics such as crisis management, critical incident stress management, current trends in addressing mental health for personnel, while participants engaged in knowledge exchange, shared best practices, and other related issues.
The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Associations (IFATCA) unites the professional associations of air traffic controllers from around the world. In total, it represents over 130 such organizations, with a combined membership of over 50,000 air traffic controllers.
The Federation is registered in Switzerland but maintains a permanent office in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The goals of the Federation include promoting safety, efficiency, and regularity of international air navigation, aiding in the development of air traffic control systems, procedures, and facilities, and promoting knowledge and professional efficiency among air traffic controllers.