Advocating ATM in Europe


Tanja Grobotek, CANSO Director Europe Affairs, provides insight into the issues CANSO is addressing with European regulators and stakeholders to maintain efficient, effective and safe ATM in the region.

Traffic growth. Increased automation. The review of the Single European Sky (SES) performance framework. These are the key areas CANSO Europe is working to address in close coordination with the European Commission, industry partners and other stakeholders. 

CANSO’s recent introduction with the newly appointed Single European Sky (SES) Head of Unit at DG Move, Ms. Christine Berg, offered the opportunity to cast fresh eyes over the key challenges our sector will face in the coming years; from ever-increasing traffic growth and use of automated technology, to new performance targets and requirements. Indeed, 2019 alone will be a critical year of political and economic transition, with Brexit and the European Parliament elections influencing regional partnerships on all levels.  

As such, now is the time for enhanced cooperation between aviation stakeholders and understanding of the ATM industry’s vital role in the aviation value chain.

Power of partnership

CANSO is focused on delivering on the SES objectives and supports the European Commission view that performance across the aviation network is the responsibility of all aviation stakeholders. Tackling the current capacity shortfall requires collective effort to increase predictability and significantly contribute to making the ATM network more efficient and resilient.

To that end, CANSO and its Members are fully committed to working together with the other stakeholders and the Network Manager to implement measures that will help tackle capacity challenges, champion innovation and improve performance.

Optimising performance

For example, as part of the SES Performance Scheme Reference Period 3 (RP3 2020-2024), the European Commission is currently working to define EU-wide ATM targets in key performance areas (safety, environment, capacity and cost-efficiency), and CANSO is playing an active role in informing this process.  

CANSO has been working closely with the European Commission to determine realistic and achievable targets that are consistent with operational realities, and strike a careful balance at a regional level with specific factors affecting local performance.

The European Commission is currently running a consultation on these targets, and a final submission will be voted on by the Single Sky Committee on 1 April. CANSO and its Members will continue to engage with the European Commission to make sure the proposed targets support effective, safe and efficient ATM performance, thus enabling ANSPs to successfully address current capacity issues and create a sound platform for future ATM performance enhancements.

The road ahead

The aviation industry has an interesting journey ahead; new partnerships like CANSO-EUROCONTROL joint action on airspace capacity, and initiatives like the Efficient Airspace Declaration and SJU study on new European airspace architecture, are significant developments in our collaborative mission to improve European aviation but there is more to done.

On 10-12 April, the CANSO Operations Conference, hosted at the DFS headquarters in Langen (near Frankfurt), will closely examine the power of partnership. For the first time, the event will bring together representatives of IATA, IFATCA, IFALPA to explore the potential for coordination, collaboration and harmonisation, and I will lead a session on the important role that people play in bringing about transformation in ATM. The event is open to all in the industry and will offer unparalleled insight into how the ATM and aviation industry more broadly can work together to advocate for the industry and make seamless operations a reality.

To find out more about how CANSO is working to support ATM in Europe and the initiatives and events available, please get in touch with the team or follow CANSO Europe on Twitter.

CANSO Europe