Air traffic management industry is committed to keeping skies open


The air traffic management (ATM) industry is committed to offering critical air navigation services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes enabling the safe passage of vital repatriation and cargo flights through global airspace and delivery of medical support worldwide.

While air traffic has reduced significantly in recent weeks due to measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the ATM industry is continuing to ensure air navigation services are available in all regions across the world. This is critical in making sure key services and goods get to where they are needed, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The ATM industry has taken a variety of steps to ensure it can continue to deliver seamless service. This includes implementing employee protection and business continuity initiatives, such as new hygiene and distancing measures, dynamic rostering and remote working, remote research and development, and remote and restorative maintenance.

As the voice of the ATM, CANSO is playing a central role in unifying the industry’s efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. CANSO has developed a best practice guide for air navigation service providers (ANSPs) on infection prevention and operational continuity, and provides a vital platform for industry suppliers and customers to explore new and emerging challenges and solutions.

CANSO is also working closely with its aviation industry partners and stakeholders around the globe to ensure smooth operations continue. In Asia Pacific and Africa, this has involved concerted efforts to safeguard operational units; and in Europe, ensuring the entire aviation industry has financial security for the difficult months ahead. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the aviation community is benefitting from CANSO’s CADENA initiative, providing vital contingency communications between ANSPs, airlines and airports. CANSO has also joined ACI-LAC, ALTA and IATA in a joint effort to secure government support for aviation in the region.

In addition, CANSO is working with ICAO in calling on States and financial institutions to support all aviation stakeholders, airlines, airports, air navigation service providers and manufacturers, in navigating the industry crisis worldwide.

Simon Hocquard, Director General, CANSO: “These are challenging times for the aviation industry but our members are taking every step necessary to make sure we can continue to provide essential ATM services around the world. Even today there are about 5,000 aircraft in the sky at a given time. These all need our support to travel safely and efficiently through airspace, and the ATM community will continue to be there to guide each flight right from take-off all the way through to landing. No matter how air traffic levels fluctuate, our work never stops, and neither will our commitment to the airspace users we serve. Our thanks go out to the frontline staff, support services, organisations and suppliers for making this happen, and for maintaining the world’s vital air transport network in these uncertain times.”

“The weeks and months ahead will continue to test the aviation industry and we will need to be ready for this. We will find new ways to work together to shoulder the burden and maintain vital connectivity. None of us can do this alone. ATM needs to come together with all our industry stakeholders including airlines and airports in a joined-up approach to ensure financial security and operational resilience going forward, and ultimately to keep our skies safe.”

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