German air navigation service provider (ANSP) Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) has signed an agreement with Swiss ANSP Skyguide to assist each other with critical incident stress management (CISM) in the event of any major incident.

Under the terms of the contract, the trained employees of the partner ANSP will provide support to the employees of the ANSP affected by the incident.

Certified under the International Critical Stress Foundation (ICISF), the agreement will help staff deal with troubles and stress caused by accidents.

Employees from the unaffected unit are expected to provide better support to their peers from the other organisation, as they will not be directly involved in the incidents.

“CISM ensures that the people in charge of safety are taken care of professionally when incidents occur."

The affected employees will also be able to receive help in one’s own language.

Skyguide CEO and FABEC champion safety Daniel Weder said: “Safety is the core of our business and it is provided by human beings.

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“CISM ensures that the people in charge of safety are taken care of professionally when incidents occur. The peers help them overcome difficult situations and prepare for a full reintegration into their job. Thanks to collaborations with other ANSPs, we can continuously improve.”

The two ANSPs have collaborated since a tragic mid-air collision near Überlingen,Germany, in July 2002.

Other FABEC ANSPs that practice CISM include Belgocontrol, LVNL, ANA Luxemburg and Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC).

Additionally, Skyguide has signed a similar agreement with the Belgian ANSP Belgocontrol.