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Harness new tech to improve safety, air traffic mangers told

The chief of an air traffic control representative body has called on operators to take advantage of the opportunities offered by new technologies to improve aviation safety.

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MAKING THE MOST OF IT: CANSO's chief told delegates that now is the time to harness technology for greater safety in the skies.

Speaking at the Civil Air Navigation Services Organzation (CANSO) Global ATM Safety Conference 2017 in Sydney, CANSO Director General Jeff Poole said: “Safety is our number one priority and we are rightly proud of the safety record in air traffic management. However, we must ensure that we do not become over-averse to risk and develop a mindset that only sees potential safety problems with every new technological advance. Conversely, we need to be proactively seeking out any and all new advances that have the potential to improve safety as well as efficiency.”

Mr Poole cited an example in automation, which can. he said, enable planes to safely reduce separation minima and take responsibility for such core controller functions as conformance monitoring – ensuring aircraft are doing what they were authorised to do. He added that in the future automation will provide real time and predictive decision-making, robust separation assurance and monitoring capability.

Mr Poole also said pace-based automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) will enable surveillance in oceanic and remote areas not currently covered, which will result in a step change for aviation safety. Remote and digital towers improve safety through improved observation via enhanced imaging and infrared for low visibility; and simplification by having all relevant information, such as weather, flight information, and other key data displayed directly on the screen. This reduces controller workload and enhances safety.

He said: “While we, rightly, spend a lot of time making sure we are safe today, we also need to ensure that we anticipate safety for tomorrow. The technologies which are entering the ATM world are an opportunity to improve safety and increase operational efficiency.

“CANSO Associate Members, the organisations that provide products, solutions and services to the ATM industry, have an important role to play in this. They are already driving new solutions across CANSO work groups in both safety and operations. Their expertise and innovation combined with the knowledge and expertise of CANSO Full Members, the organisations that provide air navigation services, are creating a powerful force for transforming ATM performance globally.”

CANSO Members support over 85 percent of world air traffic. Members share information and develop new policies, with the ultimate aim of improving air navigation services (ANS) on the ground and in the air. CANSO represents its Members’ views in major regulatory and industry forums, including at ICAO, where it has official Observer status. CANSO has an extensive network of Associate Members drawn from across the aviation industry.

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