CANSO steps up to lead change

Posted: 16 June 2011 | CANSO | No comments yet

CANSO, has been tasked by the world’s aviation leaders to ‘step up’ and lead industry change…


CANSO, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, has been tasked by the world’s aviation leaders to ‘step up’ and lead industry change.

CANSO invited the world’s foremost aviation leaders to share thought-provoking insights into the future of air traffic management (ATM) at the CANSO Global ATM Summit in Bangkok on 9-14 June. CANSO asked delegates to critique Air Navigation Service Providers’ role in delivering a safe, efficient and cost-effective service, with a view to advancing the pace of improvement in ATM.

ICAO President Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez; David McMillan, Director General of EUROCONTROL; Paul Steele, Executive Director Air Transport Action Group (ATAG); Andrew Herdman, Director General of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA); and Monte Belger, Chairman of the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA), were among the impressive line-up of speakers*. Air Chief Marshal Somchai Thean-anant, from hosts Aerothai, set the scene for the summit in his opening address by emphasising that collaboration, coordination, and cooperation were the three key areas to be addressed to ensure the future success of ATM at local, regional and global levels.

Following a video celebrating CANSO’s 15th anniversary and a speech from Dieter Kaden, a ‘founding father’ of CANSO and CEO of DFS, the German ANSP, delegates shared their views on the challenges facing ANSPs, airlines, airports and manufacturers.

The presentations highlighted the key issues, namely the risk of an airspace ‘capacity crunch’ as air transport continues to grow, the lack of global interoperability, and the inflexible nature of the ATM business model.

Industry Insight

Providing an aircraft manufacturer’s vision for 2020, Ben Boehm, Vice President of International Business Development at Bombardier drew attention to the gap that exists between an aircraft’s technological capabilities and the services that ANSPs provide.

“Manufacturers are equipping aircraft with the latest systems, but our customers can’t always use them because they are not supported by the ATC system. As a result, airlines can’t make a return on their investment and we miss out on opportunities to increase efficiency,” he said.

Skip Boyce, President of Boeing South East Asia suggested that the ATM system should be transformed rather than modernised, which he said is analogous to “replacing old antiquated systems with new antiquated systems.”

Eric Stefanello, Senior Vice President, ATM with Airbus & CEO of Airbus ProSky drew attention to the rapid rate traffic growth around the world, but particularly in the Asia-Pacific. “Between 2010-2029, the Asia-Pacific will share 33% of demand for new aircraft and by this time, 90% of long haul flights will fly to and from 32 hub cities across the world.”

The Time to Act

The need for improved ATM system performance was widely recognised, as was the shared frustration with the slow pace of progress.

“Great strides have been taken with operational concepts such as NextGen and SESAR,” said Don Antonucci, Chairman of Metron Aviation Inc. He added: “ATM is very good at talking the talk, but now it’s time to walk the walk.”

Sid Koslow, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, NAV CANADA observed that while the costs of SESAR and NextGen are well known, the benefits of such programmes remain elusive.

Politics was commonly cited as a barrier to progress. Andrew Charlton, CEO of Aviation Advocacy suggested the privatisation of the telecommunications sector could provide a model for ATM.

Daniel Weder, Chief Executive Officer, skyguide highlighted the need to simplify European airspace, noting that when Swatch, the Swiss watch manufacturer, halved the number of components in its product, it did so with reduced costs and no deterioration in time keeping accuracy. He then presented his ‘nine theses’ for the future of ATM, before calling for ‘more courage, less taboos.’

David McMillan, Director General of EUROCONTROL said that in his view, ANSPs are “stuck with being monopolist for en-route business,” but that they could be “efficient monopolists.” To achieve this, Mr McMillan argued that ANSPs need to be clear with governments on what they want, however be prepared for the consequences if they succeed.

People and Culture

Morten Dambaek, Chief Executive Officer, Naviair suggested that ANSP management and employees need to share a common goal of delivering a service capable of satisfying the needs of its customers. “Society cannot accept loss of money and time because of non-business-like occurrences. Industrial action or prolonged negotiations can be damaging and expensive.”

Leading Change

The conference concluded with widespread agreement that the ATM industry has a vital role to play in delivering a safe, efficient and cost-effective air transportation system, but for real progress to be made ANSP leadership is required.

In his closing remarks, Greg Russell, CEO Airservices Australia said: “Between now and 2020 it is clear that there is lots of change ahead, but we’ve also heard that gradual incremental change is not enough. We need a clear vision and a united sense of purpose. CANSO is well-positioned to provide that much-needed leadership.”

CANSO Director General Graham Lake said: “This year’s ATM Summit was a watershed event for the ATM industry. We’ve discussed the right topics at the right time, and as a result we have been given a clear message from the industry that now is the time for CANSO to ‘step-up’ and drive the ANSP change that is required.”

“We have been honoured by the presence of President Kobeh Gonzalez throughout the duration of the event. This was unprecedented for CANSO and further demonstrates not only how compelling the summit was but also how the relationship between ICAO and CANSO is continuing to strengthen.”

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