SODECTA, la Asociación de Controladores Militares, ha enviado carta, en inglés, a IFATCA, Asociación Mundial de Controladores Civiles, explicando varios puntos de la última comunicación de ésta, en relación a la situación de los controladores españoles, y puntualizando, algunos ejemplos no muy afortunados a raíz del brindis al sol del "morador de Fomento" (Nantes 1973), de nombre Pepe, como sería la utilización de controladores militares en dependencias que actualmente son controladas por el colectivo civil ATC. El colectivo militar de control aéreo español, representado por SODECTA (siempre a título individual), puntualiza a IFATCA, y les informa de la situación actual, su formación, experiencia y su profesionalidad al día de hoy (nada que ver con un desgraciado suceso de hace 37 años), indican. Transcribimos literalmente su carta a la organización internacional de controladores aéreos civiles.
CARTA DE SODECTA A IFATCA
In response to the statements made by IFATCA concerning the current status of air traffic
control in Spain and the use of military controllers in aviation, SODECTA, the only military air
traffic control association in Spain, wishes to state that:
IFATCA is a benchmark in the global aviation field. It is an example of professionalism and
reliability in all aspects of air traffic control. IFATCA represents more than 50,000 members and
publishes numerous studies that are commonly used by the military. Our multinational partners
also employ their reference books to carry out daily tasks in accordance with the highest
standards of quality and efficiency.
As we hold that organization in the highest regard, we are unpleasantly surprised by the
comparisons made between the Nantes´ accident and the current air traffic control picture in
Spain. These statements are based on sources which are in grave need of revision and are not
viable comparisons to any current Spanish military air traffic control entity . As such, SODECTA
offers IFATCA our knowledge and advice on all matters relating to air traffic control in our
country. Due to our members comprising of more than 85% of military controllers, we are the
most relevant professional source regarding military air traffic control.
SODECTA wishes to clarify that the Nantes incident occurred over three decades ago and is
not relevant to the current state of the military controllers, mainly for the following reasons:
Spanish military controllers have been working with civil aircraft for over 30 years and now
provide this service to the main Spanish civil airlines. We have provided service to more than 25
million passengers over this time period. We are currently in the process of being licensed by
the Spanish government.
The training school which teaches military air traffic controllers is accredited and recognized by
ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and meets the same requirements as any
training school in the EU.
Spanish military controllers are trained to handle general air traffic, both civil and military, and
their basic training goes in this direction. For this reason, we are a diversely qualified and
professional group capable of working whatever is needed.
IFATCA's statement "Military and Civilian control is fundamentally different" is fundamentally
incorrect as it relates to the actual air traffic control picture in the Spain.
This illustrates a clear lack of knowledge by IFATCA concerning the training and performance
Spanish military controllers.
A significant number of military air traffic controllers already possess the language requirements
mandated by the new European control license. As of now, we are the only professional group
that fulfills all the requirements mandated by European and Spanish legislation for the
acquisition of this document.
The accident at Nantes should serve as a warning in order to avoid a recurrence of events of
that nature. However, any comparison between Nantes and the current system of military
control in our country is wholly inaccurate. Even more so, these comparisons challenge the
integrity and training of Spanish military controllers. This sad incident which happened many
years ago cannot and must not deprecate the work and professionalism of those who work the
Lastly and most puzzling, what is the reason behind why IFATCA is now suddenly worried
about the role played by military air traffic controllers? We have been working with civilian
aircraft for decades, fortunately, without any accidents or victims. If their observations are
legitimate where has IFATCA been in the last 30 years and why have they chosen this
particular moment to attack the bona fides of dedicated public servants?
We must not forget that the professional standing of our group is built on years of work, and that
any unfounded statement that may cast doubt on the training of Spanish military controllers will
have a negative impact on our comrades and their families. Air traffic controllers of the Armed
Forces, regardless of where they carry out their functions, are a highly professional group of
qualified workers with a large amount of experience and they have proven reliable over many
Because the safety and effectiveness of our airways is a common goal, SODECTA reiterates its
willingness to cooperate with IFATCA. We specifically want to offer our expertise on all matters
relating to air traffic control in Spain. This is obviously a subject on which we have a great deal
of experience and have highly qualified professionals who will report promptly and truthfully on
the aeronautical reality of the country.
SODECTA is the only association of military controllers in Spain and it represents over
80% of active military controllers. Among its objectives are to promote all activities
which are aimed at achieving the highest levels of air traffic safety and to promote
continuous professional training of its members.