Director General's end of year message

19 December 2014

This has been a year of anniversaries: 100 years of commercial flight; 70 years of the Chicago Convention; and, in 2015, IATA celebrates its 70th birthday. By contrast, CANSO is a teenager and in 2014 we ‘came of age’ as we celebrated our 18th birthday.

While we are the youngest of the major aviation trade associations, we are also the leanest and we certainly punch above our weight. We have been welcomed to the aviation ‘top table’ where we are clearly recognised and acknowledged as the global voice of air traffic management with international and regional organisations as well as our industry partners.

This seat at the top table has been particularly important in a year that has seen two major tragedies that have shaken the aviation industry. CANSO has been proactive in the two task forces that were established to look at the implications of the losses of Malaysia Airlines flights MH370 and MH17: one to explore the need for tracking airline flights globally and the technologies to support this; the other to examine the risks to civil aviation over conflict zones and make recommendations to improve the dissemination of vital information. Both task forces are now at the final recommendations stage.

Partnership is one of the three pillars of Vision 2020 and we rightly talk a lot about it. The way in which the industry has responded to the MH370 and MH17 tragedies is testament to how effectively all parts of the industry – States as well as industry stakeholders – can work together to tackle challenges; resolve problems; and cooperate for the overall benefit of the industry.

This partnership work with ICAO, States and our industry partners continues to shape our approach and guide our work plans. We have just completed an extensive review of the CANSO Work Plan with its 120+ deliverables to ensure it continues to be forward looking, challenging and relevant to achieving the Vision 2020 goals. We are making good and steady progress on the deliverables in the Work Plan. As we finish the year, we have worked with the regions, standing committees and workgroups to refresh and update the plan so it continues to be a living document, adding new deliverables to reflect the evolving priorities and challenges of our industry. The CANSO Work Plan Version 2.0 will be available shortly on the Global ATM-net.

Reviewing the revised plan in the past week makes me realise yet again quite how much CANSO delivers. As ever, much of the hard work on developing programmes and policies, producing publications and guidance, and participating actively in important meetings and joint projects with our industry partners is carried out by your representatives as our committed and hardworking Members - thank you.

Value is another of the three Vision 2020 pillars. One key theme this year and an important part of Vision 2020 is how best to implement the Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBUs). CANSO is playing its full part with the publication of the Introduction to the Aviation System Block Upgrade (ASBU) Modules as well as ASBU training run in conjunction with Mitre.

Another theme and one of the two Vision 2020 special focus areas is our call for better regulation. I have taken every opportunity to talk to States about this issue and while we are making some progress, there is a long way to go. 

The performance of ANSPs is always a critical issue so I am delighted that we have just released the CANSO Global Air Navigation Services Performance Report 2014, which is in an enhanced format this year as the first step to evolving this report into an even more powerful benchmarking tool.

Some other issues pushed their way up the agenda, including how to incorporate remotely piloted vehicles into airspace (CANSO published ANSP Considerations for RPAS Operations); and how best to counter the cyber security threat (with another CANSO publication, Cyber Security and Risk Assessment Guide).

Another highlight for me has been the second highly successful World ATM Congress in Madrid, with a thousand more attendees than 2013; and where we reported back to our industry partners on the commitments we had made a year earlier.

And finally, we have also focused this year on another of the Vision 2020 pillars – organisation. We have set about improving the capabilities of the CANSO organisation with a complete overhaul of the way in which we manage and communicate information; this is work in progress but we are making good headway with a new website, Global ATM-net and CRM (Contacts Relationship Management) system. Modern IT solutions will enable CANSO and Members to exchange information and execute processes more effectively and efficiently in the future.

We have much to look forward to in 2015 with some important ICAO meetings on the horizon, including the ICAO High Level Safety Conference in early February for which our safety colleagues are working very hard to prepare. We also look forward to the third World ATM Congress 10-12 March 2015 with the theme “Smart Choices in a Challenging Environment” and a strong Conference Programme in a revised format. I hope as many of you as possible will come to Madrid to support this important event for the ATM industry.

In closing, I send to you all the very best wishes of the entire CANSO team as we end another successful year and thank you for your continuing and enthusiastic support.

About the author

Jeff Poole Director General CANSO

Subscribe to the CANSO publications