The Problematic use of Psychoactive Substances
The responsibilities of Air Traffic Control (ATC) service providers with regard to the problematic use of psychoactive substances by air traffic controllers are detailed in ATS.OR.305 and included within the compliance matrix for Annex IV Part-ATS. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has developed specific policy and additional AMC and GM to guide and direct ATC service providers in complying with the requirements of ATS.OR.305.
Using this policy, AMC and GM, ATC service providers should submit their procedure to the CAA for approval at firstname.lastname@example.org by 7 March 2022.
ICAO Doc 9654 ‘Manual on Prevention of Problematic Use of Substances in the Aviation Workplace’ provides additional guidance for the development and implementation of training and education programmes and policies relating to the problematic use of psychoactive substances; it is referenced within GM1 ATS.OR.305(a).
Air Traffic Controllers’ Rostering System(s)
For many years, the UK utilised the Scheme for the Regulation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Hours (SRATCOH) to provide the basis for a rostering system to manage the risks of occupational fatigue of air traffic controllers. However, the ATM/ANS IR (Annex IV Part-ATS ATS.OR.320) requires Air Traffic Control (ATC) service providers to develop, implement and monitor a rostering system, with its structure and values based on scientific principles, data gathered by the ATC service provider and best practices.
Whilst some UK ATC service providers can readily gain access to the appropriate resources to support this task, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is cognisant that this may not be the case for all. Consequently, The CAA has developed specific policy and additional AMC and GM to guide and direct ATC service providers in complying with the requirements of ATS.OR.320.
In addition, ICAO Doc. 9966 ‘Manual for the Oversight of Fatigue Management Approaches’ and in particular The Fatigue Management Guide for Air Traffic Service Providers provides useful insights into the critical elements contributing to ATCO fatigue as well as guidance on fatigue management approaches supported by ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices.
The AMC and GM are not materially different from the provisions contained within SRATCOH; consequently, the CAA believes that ATC service providers should already be compliant. However, cognisant of industry’s need to incorporate the new policy, AMC and GM into their existing systems, they will become effective on 7 March 2022. ATC service providers should assess their compliance with ATC.OR.320 using this policy, AMC and GM and consider what subsequent actions may be required.
Where an ATC service provider identifies the need to operate in a way that differs to the AMC (for example, the structure of or values used within their rostering system), they may follow the process (ATM/ANS.OR.A.020(a)) to develop and propose alternative Means of Compliance (MOC) for consideration and approval by the CAA.