PICTURE: DECEA and Sergeant Johnson Barros and Soldado A Soares / CECOMSAER.
World Air Traffic Control Day is celebrated on October 20th. The date has been celebrated since 1960 when the first international meeting of these professionals was held in Greece.
The Director General of the Air Control Department (DECEA), Brigadier General of the Air Heraldo Luiz Rodrigues, emphasizes the role of air traffic controllers. “Air traffic controllers are part of a group of professionals who work tirelessly every day of the year, 24 hours a day, to ensure that air traffic control maintains its fluidity and safety, and to ensure the efficiency of the service provided to domestic aviation and internationally. I would like to thank you for the invaluable work that is done every day and which uses your technical and operational experience to benefit the aviation of which the Brazilian Air Force is so proud, ”says the General Officer.
But who are they and what make these professionals so fundamental to the success of aviation?
“In general, these professionals are responsible for speeding up and keeping air traffic in order, providing warnings and useful information for the safe and efficient operation of flights, preventing collisions between aircraft and obstacles, and notifying the appropriate organizations about the aircraft you need Search and rescue, ”explains DECEA air traffic management standards advisor, Lieutenant Claudionor Silva de Macêdo.
“From approving the route, starting the engines, taxiing the aircraft and taking off, the air traffic controllers in the airfield control tower handle the traffic requirements. By carrying out prepared procedures to avoid conflicts and collisions with obstacles on the ground, the approach control (APP) controllers inform and separate the traffic in the vicinity, accelerate the interception of the routes to be flown and pass on important information to the pilots, such as level changes ” says the head of the operations department of the Anápolis Air Control Department (DTCEA-AN), Lieutenant Aloísio Alves de Oliveira.
There is also a special qualification for air traffic controllers that allows them to perform what is known as PAR (from the English Precision Approach Radar) operation, a special type of high-precision radar approach in which this professional takes over the navigation of the aircraft and guides its descent to the point of touch , assign instructions, speed and rate of descent in adverse weather scenarios when the pilot could not do so without this type of assistance.
“In this context, Wing 2 airfield in Anápolis (GO) has become a safe haven, not only for military aircraft, but also for civilians in unusual situations, namely problems related to low fuel levels, deviations due to, among other things, unfavorable meteorological formation, mechanical Problems, ”explains Lieutenant Aloísio.
In certain time and flight situations, PAR controllers become pilots’ eyes and have dozens of lives in their hands. There are many emblematic stories to prove this. One of them happened in 2012. “An Airbus with 160 people on board was checked by a PAR operator for landing in Anápolis after he had announced that he would no longer have autonomy to wait,” recalls the head of the Operations department of DTCEA-AN.
Information from the Air Force Agency from Lieutenant Flávia Rocha.