The need for progress never stops

28 November 2018

Each year, I look forward to attending the CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference as I know that I will have many opportunities to share, learn and work with my peers to drive safety performance. 

Elder Key Good Eagle Senior’s welcoming prayer set the tone for the spirit of collaboration, as he formally opened the conference.  There were more than 100 people in the room from countries around the world.  This diversity of cultures, experiences and ideas give us a better position to address the safety challenges facing our industry today and in the future.

Neil Wilson, the CEO of NAV CANADA and host of this year’s meeting, highlighted some of those challenges to safety: increasing traffic and its complexity; runway safety; cyber security; UAVs, data sharing and human performance management, to name a few. But more importantly, he spoke to the unwavering commitment of the industry to addressing those challenges and delivering safe air navigation services.

That commitment was evident as I looked around the room and saw representatives from every corner of the globe – colleagues from other ANSPs, industry experts, customers, stakeholders, and suppliers – all here to learn and discuss the challenges facing global air traffic management today. 

Rudy Kellar, the Executive Vice President of Service Delivery and our ExCom Safety Champion welcomed the group with a recognition of the many accomplishments from the Safety Standing Committee over the past year. He announced the completion of the CANSO Standard of Excellence in Human Performance Management, thanks to the efforts of many in the room.

I’m really pleased that the Human Performance Management Task Force, led by Remi Joly, NAV CANADA, Joerg Leonhardt, DFS, and Neil May, NATS, developed the standard to assist ANSPs with the transition to a more automated system.  This tool gives me, as a leader, an opportunity to better support the people in my organisation. After all, people create safety.  Neil, Joerg and Remi conducted a short workshop providing the opportunity for us to learn more about the elements of the standard. I’m really excited about this Standard of Excellence in Human Performance Management, as it is the only document of its kind in our industry.

We also heard from CANSO’s Deputy Director General Simon Hocquard who reminded us that we are currently in the safest period in aviation history. Simon inspired us to continue to work together as we move into the future, to ensure that we stay safe, five and ten years out, even with all of the new entrants into the airspace and transformative technologies.

It was a real treat to have Ed Sims, the CEO and President of WestJet, join us for the opening day. Ed was our Safety Champion on the ExCom before Rudy. He has been incredibly supportive of the SSC and shared his perspective as one of our major customers. Ed applauded us for including the customer point of view and encouraged us to include even more stakeholders such as airports and regulators in the future.

In an industry as dynamic as ours, the need for progress never stops, but working together to find solutions to common challenges, and communicating our lessons learned will support a safer industry, and ensure we are moving forward together.



  • Conferences

About the author

Larry Lachance Vice President, Safety and Quality, NAV CANADA and Member, Safety Standing Committee Steering Committee, CANSO

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