Be there for your pilots: The mindset of Anton de Zeeuw

May, 11, 2021 by Suhas J.

A wise man once said, “The pilots are not here for the controllers. The controllers are here for the pilots.” Anton de Zeeuw, a now former IFATC Supervisor, was an undoubtedly great controller and mentor to the IFATC. In honor of him, today’s post goes more in detail on Anton’s famous saying.

As a controller, your sole duty is to manage your airspace and provide quality service to your pilots to make their flights safer and more efficient. The pilots aren’t lesser than the controllers; they aren’t inferior. The controllers are here to help them and make their flights effortless. Keep this quote in mind whenever you’re in a controlled airspace or when you are preparing to open a frequency. This mindset is a great way to approach your airspace.

Always make it your goal to prioritize your aircraft and make their flights as efficient as possible. There is a genuine difference in service quality between one who carries this mindset and one who does not. Make things easy for your pilots. Anticipate their needs and next actions, and help make their experience better. If you handle your pilots with care, your service will be well received. Remember to be there for your pilots.

The IFATC would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Anton for his guidance, mentorship, advice, and service over the years.

Suhas is a writer for the IFATC Education Group. He is a long time Infinite Flight user, IFATC Officer and Tester. In the real world, he’s a student pilot on both glider and powered aircraft. He's also an IFVARB Board Member.