Safety Quarterly Update 2015

Quarter Four, 2015

The annual CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference was held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in October, kindly hosted by IDAC. Over 90 participants approved many initiatives and agreed an impressive work programme for the coming year. The Standard of Excellence in Air Navigation Services -Safety (SEANS-Safety) concept generated much discussion and the CANSO safety leadership team is moving forward with its progressive implementation.

The adoption of common risk analysis methodology, that will enable improved safety data collection and analysis, was agreed. This is a notable step in advancing aviation safety. It will enable CANSO to effectively identify the causal factors that result in the most significant risk in the system and thus drive the development of mitigations to address those risks and improve global safety performance.

The CANSO safety community also explored opportunities for providing more benefit to Associate Members, and vice versa. Several initiatives were agreed, including filling the Associate Member position on the SSC Steering Committee.

Lastly, it was agreed to form new workgroups to address two important areas where CANSO can effect safety improvements: human performance measurement and runway safety.


Quarter Three, 2015

Important topics such as runway safety and safety culture will be discussed at the CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference on 18-23 October in the Dominican Republic. The CANSO Safety Standing Committee (SSC) will make key decisions including: adopting a standard risk assessment methodology; developing an associated Standard of Excellence; and moving to the next version of the SMS maturity model. The new maturity model would make the programme 100% aligned to ICAO Annex 19 and smooth our efforts on the Standard of Excellence in Air Navigation Services - Safety. We are making good progress on the development of SEANS-Safety and by October we expect drafts of the SEANS Concept Overview and the SEANS Implementation Plan to be ready for discussion.

We have sent out the annual call for safety data for the CANSO Safety Performance Benchmarking Report. The report traditionally carries de-identified information that allows Member ANSPs to measure their own progress from year to year, as well as to draw comparisons with other ANSPs. Since 2014, CANSO has produced a similar report that identifies the information of those ANSPs that are willing. This facilitates an even more open culture of sharing safety information. We hope to see an increase in the number of participating Members, as more data allows for better and more comprehensive analysis, and provides added benefit to the participants in their ability to share information, lessons learned and best practices across ANSPs. Data submissions were due by the end of July so this is a final reminder to ANSPs to submit their data if they have not done so already.

Following the approval of the CANSO Global Safety Strategy, regional safety leads are working on their regional safety strategies. The Asia Pacific Safety Workgroup presented its proposed plan at the safety seminar in Fukuoka, Japan, in May. These regional plans are important because they will help identify the areas of safety need in the regions so that the SSC can better target initiatives, products and seminars to address those needs.


Quarter Two, 2015

We have been further developing the proposed CANSO safety standard programme that will provide CANSO Members with an impartial, standardised means of assessing ANSP safety management, building on CANSO’s existing safety management products. It will also enable CANSO to address ICAO’s request for assistance in addressing safety concerns in regions where regulators struggle to provide effective safety oversight. The Executive Committee has approved the concept and the development of a more detailed proposal and implementation plan.

The Safety Standing Committee is investigating the establishment of a CANSO common risk analysis Standard of Excellence. This will improve our ability to collect, align and analyse safety data so that resources can be targeted to address the areas of highest risk. It will also provide a common format for the collection and analysis of safety data, thus enabling effective identification and mitigation of risk locally, regionally and globally.

The CANSO Global Safety Strategy is being expanded to include information and initiatives specific to the regions. This will help future safety seminars and workshops to focus on the regional needs of highest priority. We have recently published the Identified Safety Performance Measurement Benchmark Report. This report is similar to the De-Identified Report except it identifies the ANSPs. It is only available to the twenty-three CANSO Members that participated and enables them to work together to address similar safety concerns.


Quarter One, 2015

The CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference was held in Bangkok in January, kindly hosted by AEROTHAI in a highly effective and memorable way. Attendance was excellent with 96 registrations and roughly 80 in attendance throughout the conference. CANSO Members continue to do outstanding work, developing useful products and leading the industry in the development of safety management concepts for the future. Seventeen papers were submitted for the conference ranging from safety benchmarking reports, to future safety management processes, to safety papers for the ICAO High Level Safety Conference. Prior to the CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference, we released the Safety Performance Benchmarking Report to the participating Members.

One of the key topics discussed was the concept of CANSO establishing a process that recognises the maturity of safety management system implementation by CANSO Members. While many questions remain, as was evident by the excellent discussion at the conference, the Safety Standing Committee (SSC) agreed to a preliminary strategy which will be captured in a paper for the Executive Committee in March. The SSC also agreed to draft a proposal to establish a harmonised risk assessment process that, if approved, would enable CANSO to develop new, proactive, actionable metrics that could be used to identify and fix the issues leading to the highest safety risk in our operations. Finally, the SSC agreed to a key safety Vision 2020 activity, the development of a global safety strategy. The agreed next step is to further develop associated strategies for the regions. The next CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference will be held in the week of 18 October in the Dominican Republic.

At the ICAO High-level Safety Conference (HLSC), 2-5 February, we sought to inform and gain support from ICAO and its Contracting States for the CANSO efforts to improve safety management practices among ANSPs. We asked ICAO and States to acknowledge the CANSO SOE in SMS as a framework for the implementation and maturity of an appropriate safety management system for ANSPs that is fully compliant with ICAO Annex 19 on Safety Management. We further stressed the importance of a Just Culture environment to non-punitive reporting processes and encouraged the adoption of the CANSO Guidelines on Just Culture by safety organisations. We also pointed out the need for States to implement the necessary laws and regulations that will ensure the protection of safety information and their sources, as is now proposed through new and enhanced ICAO provisions related to this matter.

While the Conference noted some of the challenges faced by some States in the implementation of these new and enhanced provisions, it recommended that ICAO support the implementation efforts with additional guidance material, tools and seminars to build trust and a common understanding among aviation safety professionals, accident investigation authorities, regulators, law enforcement authorities and the judiciary, in the context of promoting an open reporting culture. Our call that ICAO takes a leadership role, working closely with industry, in defining a globally harmonised set of safety performance indicators and in developing a common taxonomy, supported by definitions and guidance on data interpretation, was also supported.

However, the issues of greatest importance to delegations at the Conference, and of greatest interest to the media, were global aircraft tracking and risks to civil aviation arising from conflict zones. The aircraft losses over the last year had prompted work activity involving ICAO, States and industry that produced a number of conclusions and recommendations for the HLSC to consider. Deliberations concluded with States recommending the adoption of a new performance-based Standard for the routine tracking of aircraft every 15 minutes or less, which is to be met using available technologies and procedures. States and international organisations will be given until the end of February to provide formal comment on the proposal and its adoption by the Council of ICAO is anticipated for November. This new Standard is an important first step in providing a foundation for global flight tracking and the future implementation of the more comprehensive ICAO Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS), which calls for global aircraft tracking over the long-term, covering normal, abnormal and distress conditions.

During the debate, CANSO made clear that ANSPs can support aircraft tracking by providing surveillance data, when available, given current ATC systems capabilities, and supported in principle the proposal for the routine tracking of aircraft. However, we stressed the importance that the effects on existing systems and services be assessed, since any proposal that would require routine tracking in the near term would result in increased position reporting, making use of existing systems and services that are in use today, including for ATS and the separation of aircraft. For this reason, CANSO confirmed its support for an Implementation Initiative and regional training exercise to validate the successful roll-out of the new Standard.

States also confirmed support for the recommendations of the Task Force on Risks to Civil Aviation arising from Conflict Zones, in which CANSO has been involved right from the outset. We strongly urged the Conference to support the establishment of a centralised global information capability to be hosted by ICAO, which States can then use to populate with relevant risk assessment information related to conflict zones, thereby making that information promptly available to other States, ANSPs and airlines. We further called on ICAO and the ICAO Council to ensure that such a robust web portal be established as soon as possible, and be kept simple, as it was an essential deliverable to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Risks to civil aviation arising from Conflict Zones (TF RCZ) - and thus to meet the expectations of the public that civil aviation has in place measures that will help to prevent a catastrophic loss such as MH17 from happening again.

The Conference concluded with a declaration on planning for aviation safety improvement from the Directors General for Civil Aviation, with commitments to act upon the plans agreed. This included commitments to actively: participate in regional safety activities; expedite implementation of regulatory oversight; ensure implementation of safety risk management principles and safety management systems across the aviation system; cooperate and facilitate in the effective implementation of the objectives of the Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP).

All documentation related to the High-level Safety Conference is available here:

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