In order to strengthen the relationship between Air Traffic Controllers and Control Station Commanders and make their operational activity more effective, the Control Station Commanders traveled to the Northern ATC Unit for a thorough look into the unit’s activity. They saw the communication challenges between them and the conflicts and dilemmas that may arise in their field

Vered Talala | Translation: Ofri Aharon

One can’t deny the importance of communication and teamwork between the control station and ATC Unit, the arms that control the operation of any aerial mission. In fact, there is a direct relationship between the cooperation and communication between the ATC Unit and Control Station Commander and the success of the mission.

Control Station Commanders, that conduct their work from IAF HQ and the ATC Controllers of the Northern ATC Unit, met yesterday in order to discuss the challenges they encounter with communication, the conflicts and dilemmas that may arise in their mutual work and in order to strengthen each other’s work and strengthen the bond between Controllers and Air Traffic Controllers.

“We have the chance to deepen your acquaintance with the Air Traffic Control Division. The personal acquaintance contributes to our cooperation and activity, so I am very happy to see you in the ATC Unit”, stated Col. E’, Commander of the Air Traffic Control Division to the Control Station Commanders.

When ATC Meets the Control Station

Photography: Mor Tzidon

Links in the Chain
The IAF’s divisions conduct multiple sorties each day and every flight has three sides with a shared goal: the aircrew in the cockpit, the Air Traffic Controller that manages and synchronizes the aerial space and the Control Station Commander that is stationed in the IAF’s control center and is considered the aerial mission commander.

Among the dozens of Air Traffic Controllers manning the ATC Stations in the Northern ATC Unit, it was possible to discern the Control Station Commanders who watched the controllers at work while they controlled a mission which simulated combat in the northern arena. “I identify a SAM (Surface Air Missile) battery in the theatre which is threatening your jet”, said one of the Air Traffic Controllers to a pilot as a part of the simulation and simultaneously updated the on-duty Control Station Commander.

“This is a chance for us to become better acquainted with the ATC Division’s activity and with the people that comprise it that we work with over the radio”, shared Col. (Res) Dudi from the IAF’s Central Control Unit. “This is a chance to see the systems the Air Traffic Controllers work with. This meeting contributes to our sharpness, to the strengthening of our relationship and to our understanding of our joint activity”.

When ATC Meets the Control Station

Photography: Mor Tzidon

Bridging the Conflict
The cooperation between the Controller and Air Traffic Controller in operational scenarios is extremely important when dealing with intensive combat in which many control station will be opened, there will be more missions to conduct and shorter response time. “Sometimes, we have conflicts between missions, so we are expected to synchronize the activity in the field”, exclaimed Col. E.

“The acquaintance between the Control Station Commanders and the activity in the ATC Unit is extremely important in the operational aspect”, stated Lt. Col. Roei, Commander of the Northern ATC Unit. “We have a chance to bridge the gaps and improve the mutual work between the Control Station Commanders and Air Traffic Controllers. There is no substitute to mutual acquaintance and when two sides see the challenges and gaps, it raises the operational level”.

When ATC Meets the Control Station

Photography: Mor Tzidon