Why ATM operations need to embrace change

24 March 2017

Crystal Kim , Technical Officer, Airspace Management and  Optimization Section, ICAO

Crystal Kim, Technical Officer, Airspace Management and Optimization Section, ICAO


As the new CANSO Operations Programme Manager, I was delighted to attend the CANSO Global ATM Operations Conference 2017.

I have joined the CANSO team from the FAA, and have experience as an air traffic controller, private pilot and member of the United States Air Force. All of these positions have taught me how vitally important it is to continually look for ways to maintain and improve efficient, effective and seamless airspace.

The conference theme ‘Game Changers in ATM Operations’ offered a critical focus on the new technologies and developments that are impacting the way ATM is traditionally performed.

From unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and commercial space vehicles, to automation and artificial intelligence – the conference sessions explored how the safety, operational and commercial impact of new technology is critical.

The sessions also showed how new techniques and processes are playing an important, positive role in shaping both present and future ATM. These include performance-based navigation, air traffic flow management and airport collaborative decision making.

In addition, we explored how data benchmarking and CANSO best practice guidance, such as Air Navigation Service Provider Carbon Footprinting, can help to improve performance.

Without a doubt, it is clear that new technology is a game changer. Whether below 500ft or above 50,000ft, automated or enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI), each technology presents both challenges and solutions to ATM. It is the techniques and process we create and implement that will support and determine this change, offering different ways of facilitating growth and improvement worldwide.

What is clear to me from day one is CANSO Members have a variety of challenges on their hands – but also a wealth of opportunities. We cannot play by the old rules any more, we need to develop them and work as a team – a global community. Through specialist CANSO events or workgroups, it is evident that we have already laid down much of the groundwork, and it is up to all of us to play our part and chart the course for even more effective, efficient ATM in the future.

To view the conference presentations, please click here. You can also view the images here. I also encourage you to find out more about CANSO workgroups and publications and get involved in our global events.



  • Conferences

About the author

Rafael Quezada, Operations Programme Manager CANSO

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