A message from Simon: Shaking hands on success


At CANSO, we have recently held our first in-person event for two years – our CANSO Africa Conference 2022 – and we are looking forward to two more in Asia Pacific and Latin America and Caribbean.

Being able to welcome new and familiar faces at our regional conferences with a handshake will spread innovation, encourage efficient solutions and boost business far more than a Zoom call.

Which reminds us of the families and friends that haven’t been able to hug each other for so long. Aviation has this unique ability to connect, to be a social glue. And that’s before we even consider its economic powers – worth some 88 million jobs and US$3.5 trillion pre-pandemic. How important is that given today’s geopolitical turmoil?

Despite these well-documented, proven economic and social benefits, we must acknowledge our industry’s carbon footprint and work hard to eliminate it. We are committed to doing this by 2050. There is an agreement at the industry level.

At the time of writing the 41st ICAO Triennial Assembly was coming to a close and we are hoping for aligned agreement at the state level too on aviation’s Long-Term Aspirational Goal (LTAG). It’s a vital step forward as it will allow governments to develop the right policies and regulations to support aviation’s 2050 goal. Assuming we are successful in achieving the LTAG it will showcase real collaboration. Think of the differences that exist between countries in terms of maturity, resources and climate change awareness. Getting an agreement on a timeline is no mean feat and I applaud the efforts of everyone involved.

Air traffic management will do its bit. We represent about 6-11% of emissions, but we can be early movers. Most of our carbon saving technologies and procedures are available right now.

If you’re not sure about what you can do or how to measure your progress, CANSO has developed GreenATM – an environmental accreditation programme that breaks down the overwhelmingly ambitious 2050 goal into manageable chunks. There are no prizes at stake. The aim is to help each and every ANSP make a meaningful difference according to their own circumstances.

One of the concepts that ANSPs could explore to make airspace more efficient is air traffic flow management. The latest CANSO whitepaper details long range ATFM. It relies on high quality data being shared among numerous parties and so brings into play many associated developments, such as system-wide information management (SWIM). And all of this feeds into the CATS roadmap that provides the first industry-wide vision for ATM in 2045.

So, as you can see, there’s a lot to think about – and we can’t take too long in our deliberations. Many of the issues I’ve outlined need immediate action.

What we need to speed us on our way is a great, industry-wide in-person event that really tackles the major issues and offers cutting-edge solutions. In Geneva, on 8-10 March 2023, we’ll have just that. Airspace World will be the best ATM event in the calendar. With over three quarters of the floorspace sold in the two months since we opened registration, it looks set to become the place to be for organisations and people interested in the skies of tomorrow. Keep the dates in your diary and get ready to shake hands with your colleagues from across the globe From a personal and professional point of view, there’s nothing like it.