Airspace Q4 2019 – Keep moving forwards


Micilia Albertus-Verboom, Director-General, Dutch Caribbean Air Navigation Service Provider (DC-ANSP) and Chair CANSO Latin American and Caribbean region, shares her thoughts about regional developments.

Aviation in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) is going through an evolution.

Historically, the aviation industry in the region has been highly regulated, with expensive airline tickets and protectionism of national carriers. But a notable shift is occurring as governments stop interfering in the commercial decisions of air carriers, largely due to the incorporation of the Open Skies Agreements (OSAs).

Since the first agreement was signed between the United States and the Netherlands in 1992, over 300 OSAs involving more than 150 states all over the world have been signed. The OSAs have provided concrete value such as:

  • a more positive end-user experience
  • more accessible travel options
  • greater economic development
  • increased traffic growth.

The OSAs and other bilateral agreements are a contributing factor in the growth of air travel in the LAC region and this is expected to continue in the future.

Additionally, 2018 was a very positive year for Latin American and Caribbean airlines in terms of route development, with the introduction of a total of 64 new routes, 22 domestic routes and 42 international.

While the growth in air traffic is good for the local economy, it is putting pressure on the existing aviation infrastructure and requires the air navigation service providers (ANSPs) in the region to provide greater capacity.

Regional collaboration

A high priority for CANSO in the Latin America and Caribbean region is cooperation between the airlines and ANSPs to enhance safety and operational efficiency.

In 2017, CANSO established the CANSO Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) Data Exchange Network for the Americas (CADENA) to accomplish these goals.

CADENA facilitates data sharing and promotes a common situational awareness that is vital to the safe, efficient, and harmonised flow of air traffic in the region.This was an important step in moving from very limited communication and collaborative decision-making to a region-wide, common situational awareness.

Communication is a crucial factor and CADENA pays dividends, which contributes to the progress of the aviation industry in the LAC region by openly discussing topics, such as weather, staffing, combined sectors, equipment outages, traffic management measures (TMM), and airport configuration.

Reducing the environmental impact of aviation is also of great importance and it is vital that ANSPs play an active role in keeping the planet healthy.

An example of this effort is Corporación Centroamericana de Servicios de Navegación Aérea (COCESNA), which has been promoting, as a strategic objective, practices that allow for better environmental care. These practices range from more direct air navigation routes to cleaner and more responsible technologies, which has resulted in energy consumption savings of 14.45%. It is important to continue to take steps to improve and preserve the planet’s environment.

Innovative measures

New developments have had a big impact on the Latin American and Caribbean region. Because of the changes that are taking place a lot of countries are investing in innovative measures to improve the concept of operations, techniques and policies for enhanced safety, capacity and performance (see map).

With all these innovations, it is clear that ANSPs in the region are using the right tools to withstand the various challenges that arise in the industry. Air navigation services are improving safety, capacity and efficiency.

Let’s keep moving forward!

Regional highlights

  • CUBA – La Empresa Cubana de Navegación Aérea (ECNA) is investing in communications systems and data networks. It is planning to migrate a voice over IP platform by 2020, which will facilitate the implementation of controller pilot data link communication at a later stage.
  • JAMAICA – The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) invested in two new air traffic control towers at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. This investment was needed to replace major components of its communications, navigation and surveillance systems.
  • CURAÇAO – The Dutch Caribbean Air Navigation Service Provider (DC-ANSP) has implemented RNAV approaches and is in the process of restructuring the airspace, that will conclude with adapted RNAV approaches for Curaçao and Bonaire supporting continuous climb operations (CCO) and continuous descent operations (CDO). DC-ANSP will also implement Aireon’s space-based ADS-B system later in 2019, which will increase safety, enhance efficiency, improve predictability and expand capacity.
  • ARGENTINA – Empresa Argentina de Navegación Aérea (EANA) held its first route optimisation (RO1) meeting. This led to the modification of 43% of the route network, saving a total of 1.44 million km, 11 million litres of fuel, 44,000 tons of CO2 and $29 million in operating costs.
  • DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – The Dominican Republic Civil Aviation Institute (IDAC) has achieved 86% of its targeted performance-based navigation (PBN) implementation. Currently, in the FIR Santo Domingo, there are 24 Area Navigation (RNAV) routes and 44 conventional routes and compliance with 100% of RNAV approach procedures.
  • TRINIDAD – The Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA) has invested in an upgrade of its CNS/ATM system. The upgrade consists of hard and software changes, technical and operational training and additions to the existing system. The upgrade and customization of the Piarco CNS/ATM system is in alignment with ICAO’s ASBU methodology and will provide an enhanced level of safety and proficiency in the Piarco FIR.
  • BRAZIL – Departamento de Controle do Espaço Aéreo (DECEA) has implemented Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) in the offshore airspace in the Campos Basin as a solution for increased operational demand. The system is composed of two reception stations in the continent and four in the oceanic area. This solution enhanced situational awareness, optimised navigation through direct heading clearances, reduced flight times and consequently saved fuel estimated at BRZ1.31 million ($315,000) a year.
Airspace Magazine Latin America and Caribbean