Director General’s End of Year Message

19 December 2013

As the holiday season for many of us approaches and we think about being with our families, I have been reflecting on another family – the CANSO family – and how much it has meant to me in the past year. It is now one year since I joined CANSO as Director General and from the very start I was given a very warm welcome and have received nothing but support, encouragement and help from everyone. Like all families we are growing: we welcomed seven new Full Members and 11 new Associate Members to the CANSO family in 2013 – a clear demonstration of our value as the Global Voice of ATM. 

I am very pleased that I have had many opportunities to see at first hand the work of the CANSO Regions, Standing Committees and their Workgroups as well, of course, as the CANSO Secretariat. I have been fortunate to have attended all the CANSO Region conferences held this year. This has given me an invaluable insight into the work of the Regions but also the challenges they face. Although each Region is very different, all have embraced Vision 2020 enthusiastically and have developed their own specific implementation and delivery plans to ensure that we meet our commitments and move closer to our goal of seamless airspace globally. Through the Regions, CANSO and its Members are leading the industry on important issues such as implementing ASBUs, sharing best practices and organising useful, important and well-regarded workshops and seminars. 

In addition, I attended the meetings and Conferences of our Standing Committees which are managing very significant workloads and delivering on many key ATM issues. Overall, my participation in all these events has reinforced my view that CANSO is an organisation that adds considerable value. I have been struck by the way that many CANSO Members are prepared to give freely of their time and expertise to support the excellent work of our Regions, Standing Committees and their Workgroups. 

For me, the follow things in 2013 stand out in particular: 

  • World ATM Congress was an outstanding success. It exceeded our expectations in all respects, including revenues, and laid the foundations for an even bigger and better event in a few month time, 4-6 March 2014
  • The Global ATM Summit and 17th AGM demonstrated that we can work effectively together to make important decisions for the future of our industry
  • The approval of Vision 2020 as the strategic framework for the ATM industry was particularly significant. The associated CANSO Workplan is a major commitment but we are making good progress on its important deliverables. I will report further on that at the CEO Conference on 3 March in Madrid and also to our industry leaders and partners at World ATM Congress on the following days.
  • We achieved our key aims and made some real progress for ATM at the ICAO 38th Assembly in September. In my view, this really marked CANSO’s coming of age as the undisputed global voice of ATM. Our team produced thoughtful and well-researched papers, made some well-received interventions during the Assembly and had a real impact on the outcomes. ICAO acknowledges the important role that CANSO now plays in the formulation of policy.
  • It has been a good year for partnership. ICAO, ACI, CANSO, IATA and other partners are working together in a positive and constructive way, listening to each other’s points of view and working on joint solutions. This is reflected not just at the HQ level but at the regional level as well where this year has seen great examples of cross-industry collaboration bearing fruit. This includes joint pilots, trials, seminars and workshops on issues such as runway safety, training, environment, ADS-B, ATFM, CDM, PBN and CRM and so on.
  • We have released various products with tangible benefits for CANSO Members and other ATM stakeholders. It would take too long to mention all the achievements here but highlights include the excellent new SMS Standard of Excellence, the practical elements of the Runway Safety initiative; and the very useful guide to the Aviation System Block Upgrade (ASBU) Modules.

We have much to look forward to in 2014, the centenary year of commercial aviation, including the two major events of the year: the second World ATM Congress in Madrid in March and the Global ATM Summit and 18th AGM in Moscow at the end of June. Whereas 2013 has been about putting the building blocks in place to transform global ATM performance, 2014 will be about delivering against our commitments. 

I would like to close by thanking all parts of the CANSO family for their commitment, hard work and support this year. The CANSO Secretariat has delivered much under pressure with limited resources. The Members in the Regions, the Standing Committees and their Workgroups have produced an astonishing output of deliverables with enthusiasm and expertise. Their work adds real value to our organisation and to the industry as a whole. 

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