Monday, November 3, 2008

Air traffic controllers to get pay hike next year

Starting January next year, all air traffic controllers (ATCs) and similar technical personnel of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) will receive salary scales approaching those of pilots.
Ruben Ciron, CAAP director general, said the new salary adjustment will take effect on the first day of January 2009 since the fund has not been incorporated in this year’s appropriation.
The local aviation community’s ranks of air controllers have been decimated as many have been lured by higher salaries abroad.
To guarantee that these highly technical personnel will remain with the CAAP, Ciron’s board of directors has upgraded their salaries to match world standards.
On average, the lowest ATC and similar technical personnel will receive P17,000 to P27,000 per month; a senior, from P37,000 to P47,000; a supervisor, P47,000 to P57,000; a section chief, P77,000 to P87,000; and an assistant service chief, P100,000 to P108,000.
Ciron’s salary would range from P125,000 to P135,000 per month.
But the good news was met with skeptical disdain by air controllers, who have grown distrustful of government because of broken promises in the past.
“Let me see the color of their money. We will wait until the cash is actually in our hands,” said Ariel Carabeo, a supervisor of the Area Control Center, manning the main radar receiving stations relayed from the Tagaytay City radar site to its office in the CAAP building across Nayong Pilipino.
Nehemia Tady, a senior controller at the Manila tower, echoed the same reaction, saying, “We will wait until the law is implemented.”
Tady added that although some of them were elated to hear the news, many were skeptical that these high salaries would ever reach their pocket.
Despite these reactions, the upgraded salary was no small victory to the decimated ranks of 353 controllers in the country, who for 29 years, have been fighting for their rights to be exempted from the Salary Standardization Law passed in 1989, effectively lumping them with regular civil servants.
It was also 12 years since the first CAAP bill was proposed in 1996.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) downgraded the Philippines to Category 2 status from Category 1 after it found the former Air Transportation Office (ATO) deficient in eight principal aspects such as legislation, regulation, structure, oversight, technical guidance, licensing, certification, and surveillance.
“The air traffic controller is foremost in its mind. We have since addressed the problem of high attrition rate by getting the budget department to approve 122 new ATCs last August. Last September, 51 personnel passed a competitive examination and they will soon undergo training while 40 more are scheduled to train in January 2009,” Ciron said.
“Another 100 enlisted men from the Philippine Air Force will be trained and redeployed all over the country as contingency workforce,” he added.
Ciron said the CAAP has hired five consultants from the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) led by Peter Weiss. The consultants are experts in personnel licensing, flight operations, airworthiness, and aerodrome certification.
To assure a high standard of flight safety, the CAAP hired the following check pilots: three for B747, three for Airbus 340, two for A330 plus two more for re-qualification, six for A319 and A320, and three for B737.
“These pilots came from Philippine Airlines and the Philippine Air Force. Their wealth of experience would surely be an asset to the Authority,” Ciron said.

By Rudy Santos
Updated November 03, 2008 12:00 AM


  1. hopefully, with the advent of CAAP, coordination within the agency will improve. more than 30 newly recruited air traffic controllers have their pending appointments because of I think poor coordination. i hope you could help them... they have waited for too long and have sacrificed a lot. i believe the country is short of ATCs but there are a lot of them still waiting and hoping for their appointment soon. a lot were afraid to really make follow ups because of the fear of not getting an appointment if the big bosses get irritated by their impatience... please help them...

  2. How does a former US controller get a job with the CAAP?

  3. Technical personnel of CAAP are still waiting for the salary that they promise..They said the new salary rate will take effect by January and up to now we cannot see the color of their money...Only the so many consultants can see the color of the money..there are so many consultant right now at CAAP...we dont know what they are doing at CAAP... CAAP has a new meaning now..Consultants Ang Aming Panginoon" "Consultants Action Agad sa Pangungurakot"..bago maubos ang pera ng CAAP...Caapiaping mga taga CAAP....

  4. i've heard CAAP needs more ATCs to be distributed in the different atc facilities nationwide. the agency announced this early in 2007. many young professionals grabbed this oppurtunity and applied for the job. they underwent training for many months with their own expense, no allowance or anything, even a refund if you get hired. being in the training does not guarantee that you will be eventually get hired.if you fail the training at the very last month, say goodbye to your dreams. that's what i saw from some friends experience. they gave up their job because of a promising career in the government. but what? until now, all of them were not hired. what does CAAP stands for? Cira Ang Ating mga Pangarap!!! yes, that's true. CAAP, under its training branc, the Civil Aviation Training Center (CATC) located at merville access road, in Pasay city, conducted trainings by batches. when CAAP anounced the need of ATC just when the FAA degraded the safety status of our aviation in the countyr, there were 22 trainees to become air traffic controllers and 21 trainees to become airways communicators. after 6 months of training, 20 new airways communicators graduated and were officially hired sepetmeber last year. a month later, 10 new air traffic controllers graduated, completed their license by august 2008, infromed by ATC officilas to be hired by october 2008, just wait for the call. when they followed up the status of thei appointment were told, before december 2008, just wait. and when january 2009 came, they were told to find jobs temporarily because of pending appointmnet due to chaos in the agency. issues on salary adjustments between technical positions in the agency are not yet settled up to now. they were told to wait by March 2009. but up to now, these poor young professionals are still jobless, not hired by the agency who is full of promising future for them. reason, according to officlas of CAAP, appointmnat is still pending at the civil service commission because the CSC is waiting for the organizational structure of CAAP. furthermore, ATC chief is requesting the personnel department of CAAP that this 10 ATCs be hired as temporary ATC but they wont approve because there is no BUDGET!!!!!!! for two years of sacrifice, where are their dreams? CAAP --- Cira ang ATing mga Pangarap?those twenty AIrways communicators, why was their appointment not as difficult to have as for these ATCs? beacuse most of them were "anak ng diyos ng CAAP"?
    moreover, early in 2008, there is another training for anew batch of atcs, there were more than 60 trainees then, but only 33 succeed. thus, adding to the 10 unhired ATCs. there are 43 of them still waiting and still waiting, and praying that they will be hired before the election ban!

    early this year, a new batch of trainees is undergoing the Cumulative Air Traffic Service course at the civil Aviation Training Center. They should be able to complete the training, have their license to become air traffic controllers. Thus, adding to the 43 pitiful individuals who are still waiting to reap the laurels of their sacrifices.

    please, to government officials who can read this, for every Filipino out there, this our call. help these young and poor AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS to air their voices nad be heard! let Madam President listen to them and lokk athe situation of the agency who protects the lives of many Filipinos and even foreigners visiting our country. AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS, they do protect lives and properties more than a soldier can more than a surgeon, more than anybody else every minute, every second that they were in CONTROL!!!!!!