Air Traffic Controllers submit signed petition against MACL

Air Traffic Control tower at Velana International Airport | Photo: Facebook/Aviators Maldives

Malé, Maldives – Ninety percent of the Air Traffic Control (ATC) staff working at Velana International Airport have signed a petition following three years with no solutions for their concerns.

The Air Traffic Controllers state that they have met with various authorities to discuss the challenges faced with little progress.

The petition by the employees at the Air Traffic Control tower include,

  • Lack of promotions, or a framework for job advancement despite bringing attention of the President’s Office to the issue in 2019.
  • Absence of a framework to train Air Traffic Controllers, resulting in lack of training opportunities.
  • Inability to address safety issues due to just culture, with an absence of a safety reporting system.
  • No further job continuation in such instances where an employee is unfit for the job due to health conditions.
  • While the Ministry of Economic Development categorizes Air Traffic Controllers at the same level as pilots of doctors, the salaries are set lower than the latter occupations.
  • Lack of incentives for job retention.
  • Absence of retirement structure for Air Traffic Controllers.

While the ATC staff have seen no progress on these fronts, the higher management of Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), including department heads, have received promotions.

Previously, MACL has refused to disclose the salaries of the upper management including CEO and directors, despite order by Information Commissioner’s Office (ICOM). MACL has also been accused of sidelining Maldivians for managerial positions.