Call for Applications

Managing Urban Airspace: A joint workshop between ATCs from TIA (Kathmandu) and Schiphol (Amsterdam)

Application Deadline: Friday 1 November, 2019

Workshop Date: Thursday, 9 April, 2020

City skies are becoming more crowded. The aviation industry is faced with the question of how to facilitate an increasingly aeromobile population in and out of airports around the world. Facilitating this air traffic requires significant challenges, such as implementing new flight paths, expanding airports, extending operating hours, and piloting new ways of taking off to reduce fuel emissions. But how are these broader changes understood, experienced, and dealt with at the everyday level of controlling and managing air traffic?

This informal workshop and brainstorming session aims to bring together a small group of air traffic controllers (ATCs) from airports in two very different cities ā€“ Kathmandu and Amsterdam ā€“ in order to better understand the shared effects that recent transformations have on their working lives, such as increased flights, new systems and technologies, stress, and a global shortage of air traffic controllers.

The experimental workshop is hosted by the Center for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam and will take place on Friday 10 April, 2020. It is intended as a unique opportunity to share ideas, thoughts, and brainstorm ideas about future collaboration and projects with controllers from two very different urban contexts. There will also be a possible opportunity to jointly publish an article based on excerpts from the conversations in an open access, peer-reviewed social science journal.


Interested applicants should:

  • Be based in the Netherlands or Nepal and have had experience working at Schiphol or Tribhuvan International Airport
  • Have at least 5 years employment experience as an ATC or in air traffic management
  • Have good English conversational skills
  • Be willing to participate in a possible joint publication based on the workshop results
  • Be able to take part in all sessions of the workshop
  • If from Nepal, arrange their own visa if accepted. Please organise visa well ahead of time; we can provide a letter of invitation if needed.
  • Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply.


This workshop is funded by the Centre for Urban Studies (CUS) and will be hosted at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on 10 April, 2020. The workshop will be organised by two social scientists: Dr. Tina Harris, Department of Anthropology, and Mr. Ramesh Pokharel, Department of Geography, Planning, and Development Studies.

Note for Applicants from Nepal: We will be able to select two ATCs from Nepal. We will arrange and cover the costs of a round trip economy class ticket, two nights in Amsterdam, a lunch, and tea and coffee on the day of the workshop. Participants are responsible for their own visa application costs and costs for meals outside of the workshop.

Note for Applicants from the Netherlands: we will cover travel to and from the UvA, a workshop lunch, and tea and coffee.


Send a short letter of motivation (max. 800 words) and your CV to by 1 November, 2019. If you have any questions about the application or workshop, please contact us at this address.