Aviation leaders in Asia Pacific set out path for the future


Schiphol, The Netherlands, 25 May 2021 – Industry leaders explore the future of aviation at the hybrid CANSO Asia Pacific Conference 2021, hosted by NiuSky Pacific Limited in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and livestreamed worldwide.

Over 400 participants from across the aviation industry gathered in-person and online for the CANSO Asia Pacific Conference 2021 on 19 and 20 May. The event explored the crucial challenges facing aviation as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and the steps it can take in shaping future skies.

The conference was opened by Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Civil Aviation, the Hon. Sekie Agisa, highlighting the importance of aviation in supporting connectivity, economy, and essential services. Special guest speaker, Mr. Conrad Clifford, Asia Pacific Regional Vice-President, IATA, further explored projected recovery for the region, the new normal for the airline industry and potential impact on air traffic management (ATM).

Leaders from Airservices Australia, ATMB CAAC, FAA, AirNav Indonesia, Airways New Zealand, CAAS and AEROTHAI together discussed the challenges facing ATM, and how the industry can recover from the crisis and adapt to the ‘new normal’. This was supported by insight from Wing, Frequentis, DFS, Boeing, AEROTHAI, Metron Aviation, SAAB, Thales, CGH Technologies and FAA, on the tools and technologies available to build resilience. In addition, CEOs from Airways New Zealand, CAD Hong Kong, CAAS and AEROTHAI showcased how the industry can leverage innovation and technology to emerge stronger, and a conference workshop identified measures to ensure cyber safe operations in an increasingly digital industry.

The event was supported by lead sponsor Aireon, and sponsors Atech, Cirium, Frequentis and Thales. It welcomed individuals from ANSPs, suppliers, airlines, airports and other industry stakeholders.

On welcoming participants to the event, Captain Ted Pakii, CEO, NiuSky Pacific, said: “It is our greatest pleasure to host this important annual event, and we’re thrilled to be the first CANSO member to help deliver a hybrid conference. This year’s conference is unique as it gives us the opportunity to regroup, reset and renew our partnerships following unprecedented disruption caused by the pandemic. We all have our own stories to tell, but by sharing our experiences, we can all learn from each other. This conference offers us a platform to discuss these challenges and opportunities and help us recover. And while it is certain the world will never be the same again, it’s clear that together we can find ways to be more innovative and resilient.”

On officially opening the event, Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Civil Aviation, the Hon. Sekie Agisa, said: “Aviation is a primary mode of transport in Papua New Guinea (PNG), linking isolated rural communities, towns, cities and services. It has played a significant role in our social-economic development, and the pandemic has underscored the significance of this for PNG and the global community. Despite the shutdown of the global industry, essential aviation services have been able to deliver life-saving equipment, medicines and vaccines across the globe because of ongoing, uninterrupted air navigation services across the globe.

“There are many challenges facing air navigation services, but these challenges provide opportunities to be creative, innovative, and better our systems. These solutions include standardisation, uniformity and harmonisation of CNS equipment and systems, and are fundamental to aeronautical safety, streamlined air traffic flow, operational efficiency, environment and business sustainability. I believe this conference provides an important platform to explore knowledge and experiences, sharing knowledge between countries”.

Simon Hocquard, Director General, CANSO, said: “CANSO has been working hard to help aviation tackle the dynamic situation we’ve experienced this past year and adapt to a changing environment, whether that’s powerfully representing our industry, advocating with States for the ATM industry, or sharing vital knowledge and best practice. The CANSO Asia Pacific Conference is an important vehicle for this, bringing the regional and global industry together to explore common challenges and determine the best route in shaping future skies. I thank our host, NiuSky Pacific, sponsors and participants for their support and commitment in navigating our journey, and look forward to joining the community again at another of our global, regional or thematic events this year.’’