The benefits of membership are broadly two fold – protection of your profession and benefits for you as an  individual involved in the air traffic management industry.


Professional benefits 

The world of ATM is changing fast and the profession needs to ensure it is fully represented in discussions on future ATM systems and operations which will affect the profession and your career. For example, automation will affect everyone in the provision of air traffic management. It is vital that it is implemented in the right way and in the right timescale and GATCO exists to ensure that the views and opinions of the ATM professional are heard. Automation is not the only area in which your professional interests need to be upheld and protected, remote tower services, integration of drones in controlled airspace, controller hours and Just Culture may be headlining issues but GATCO ensures that your views will be heard in many other areas as well as internationally through the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations.

Taking an active role within GATCO is possible as shown by the opportunities outlined in other information sheets but it is not a requirement. If you do not wish to play an active role simply being a member still brings you numerous benefits as well as providing your support to others who are able to take care of looking after the profession on your behalf.


Individual benefits


A key benefit is legal cover and representation. We live in a time where litigation in many areas is increasing. When something goes wrong, whether or not there has been any error by the person, legal representation could be needed. The legal benefit provides £250,000 cover in this regard, a sum which is regularly reviewed by an independent organisation to ensure it is appropriate. The cover is a major benefit to all operational members but, in particular, those who provide services in uncontrolled airspace, often military personnel. While many civilian professionals may be covered by their employer the extent or availability of this cover is (fortunately) rarely tested. In some cases employers may not have additional cover or it is not clear to an individual exactly how they are covered. Having clear legal cover for an individual also separates that individual from the employer who may itself be facing legal action after an incident. Full details of legal cover can be obtained from Membership Services.


Other MAJOR benefits

GATCO has negotiated a raft of other individual benefits that range from discounts on a wide range of insurance cover to entertainment including the opportunity of medical cover only available through an organisation such as GATCO. Major discounts are available from Merlin Entertainment. Using the discount available to members at, for example, Chessington World of Adventure and Alton Towers, a family of four will save more than the annual GATCO membership fee. Check out all the benefits in the GATCO publications.


Publications, social media and website

You will receive regular, professionally produced magazines, Transmit and Readability 5, with news on the issues that affect you and your working environment, new benefits, details of consultations and an opportunity to air your views. There is also a GATCO website and a closed Facebook group with over 700 members keeping you up to date with the latest GATCO developments and providing opportunities to contribute to consultations and other issues.



Eligible members wishing to joining the Royal Aeronuatical Society have the joining fee waived.


Tax deductible

You are able to claim the tax back on your membership subscriptions. They are tax deductible because you are subscribing to a recognised professional body.


Experiences that could enhance your career

Being a member of GATCO can provide the opportunity to attend and fully take part in committees and other technical or professional events that could enhance your career. Representing GATCO at such committees can lead to other positions within GATCO that could mean international meetings and direct experiences of international issues, regulation and forming policy. These experiences could enhance your career and are not normally available to you in your day to day job.


A personal comment

I strongly urge any controller out there who has

not joined the GATCO to do so immediately 

this professional organisation is a staunch ally

in times of need.


UK controller involved in an incident who received GATCO assistance.


A membership application form can be downloaded here

GATCO also welcomes Corporate Members – more details can be found here.