Vaccination of air traffic controllers (ATCOs) – operational recommendations

Guidelines in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic
Vaccination of air traffic controllers (ATCOs)– operational recommendations

This document provides guidance for National Competent Authorities (NCAs), Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and Air traffic controllers, containing operational recommendations related to the COVID-19 vaccination of air traffic controllers (ATCOs) and operational staff.

EASA and EUROCONTROL recommend the following:

  1. Due to their safety relevant functions, it is recommended that ATCOs, as essential workers, receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available in accordance with the national COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan.
  2. ATCOs and the ANSPs should consider a waiting period of 48 hours after each dose of COVID-19 vaccine, before the ATCO should be engaged in any operational related tasks in accordance with the privileges of their licence.
  3. ATCOs are advised to consult with their AME or AeMC in case side effects persist for more than 48 hours following the vaccination and, in consultation with the AME or AeMC, extend the waiting period until the time when the side effects completely disappear.
  4. ATCOs are reminded to give proper consideration to the requirements of ATCO.MED.A.020(a)-Decrease in medical fitness and the corresponding GM1 ATCO.MED.A.020.
  5. AMEs and AeMCs performing medical examinations of ATCOs should encourage consultation regarding the indication and side effects of vaccination.
  6. NCAs and ANSPs should avoid implementing different waiting periods between ATCO vaccination and operational duties, unless duly justified by medical publications regarding the COVID-19 vaccines’ adverse reactions from EMA, WHO, ECDC or EASA. Furthermore, in such cases NCAs should consult EASA prior to the implementation of different waiting periods.
  7. NCAs are advised to consider the above-mentioned recommendations in the context of their oversight activities.

Learn more in the full document available for download below.


Vaccination of air traffic controllers (ATCOs)– operational recommendations