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CANSO lays out steps towards harmonising airspace in Latin America and Caribbean

19 October 2015

The Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) has laid out a series of steps to harmonise airspace in Latin America and the Caribbean. When implemented, these would enable the air traffic management (ATM) industry to improve efficiency for airspace users and cater for the strong growth of air traffic in the region.

Speaking in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, to the joint opening session of the CANSO Latin America and Caribbean Conference and the CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference, the CANSO Director General, Jeff Poole, said: "With air traffic in Latin America growing over 7% a year and over 8% in the Caribbean, air traffic management must ensure it can handle this growth and provide a safe, efficient and seamless service to airspace users. Key to this is the ability of the ATM industry to step up the pace on harmonising airspace across the region."

Poole outlined a number of steps that States, air traffic management and its industry partners can take, working collaboratively, to achieve greater harmonisation of airspace in the region. These include: organising airspace in line with the operational requirements of airspace users rather than according to national borders; cooperating across the aviation value chain through collaborative decision-making; removing impediments to efficient regional traffic flows by implementing air traffic flow management; and implementing performance-based navigation (PBN) to improve efficiency.

Poole added: "CANSO's goal is to enable aircraft to navigate seamlessly across the world, across national borders and flight information regions (FIR), selecting the most efficient routes. There are many challenges to be overcome before we can achieve this in the Latin America and Caribbean region: airspace is fragmented; standards and protocols vary from State to State; and there is not enough sharing of data. We will work hard with States and ICAO to break down these barriers to enhancing capacity and efficiency. Improved harmonisation benefits everyone."

The theme of the seventh annual CANSO Latin America and Caribbean Conference is "Preparing for a New Age of Air Navigation Service Provision". As well as the key issues of harmonisation and safety, the conference sessions and workshops will also cover: how to safely incorporate remotely piloted aircraft systems into airspace; how to counter the threat of cyber-attacks; practical advice on implementing the ICAO Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBU) in both State and regional air navigation plans; and a workshop on airport collaborative decision-making and air traffic flow management.

The Global ATM Safety Conference will focus on CANSO's number one priority – improving safety performance. The conference will be discussing and making decisions on important issues such as: developing a proposal to assess and demonstrate the safety management system maturity levels of CANSO Member ANSPs; the role of human performance measurement in CANSO's safety programme; how to safely incorporate remotely piloted aircraft into airspace; as well as further initiatives to improve runway safety.

Both conferences are hosted by Instituto Dominicano de Aviación Civil (IDAC), the air navigation service provider of the Dominican Republic, in Punta Cana and organised by CANSO.

Jeff Poole's speech to the to the joint opening session of the CANSO Latin America and Caribbean Conference and the CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference can be found here.

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ICAO, Operations, S&I and Safety
Latin America and Caribbean

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  • ASBUs
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  • CANSO
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