CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference 2019: A First-Time Perspective


Ian Giesbrecht, Manager Safety Training and Communications, NAV CANADA shares his experiences of CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference 2019.

When the opportunity to attend my first CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference was presented to me, I knew I could not pass it up. I had heard from my colleagues at NAV CANADA about this group and wanted to know more about how our team from Ottawa fits into the global safety picture.
Getting that context was invaluable for me, especially as I progress in my role as a “guardian of safety”. And few things impressed me through the week.

The knowledge in the room

It was clear that I was surrounded by experts. Whether it was the folks who have attended this event a dozen times or newbies like me, I felt like there was so much to learn from everyone in the room. Hearing from safety managers and industry speakers opened my eyes to things I had never heard of, and probably would never have heard of had I not attended. An event like this helps so much if you’re still trying to figure out the right questions to ask. Whether the discussion was about the present (regional updates, data sharing, issues the airlines face) or the future (UAS, space flight, reduced separation standards) – there were so many great nuggets of information to take home.

The passion in the room

I heard from people who are passionate about safety and genuinely engaged in the sharing of information and best practices. This is the biggest takeaway for me, as a newcomer to the group and a relative newcomer to the world of safety. It is so important to talk to colleagues from around the globe face to face. I am now armed with the knowledge that I can go to these individuals for help. If I need guidance on safety management, I know where to go. If I am curious about human performance, or the safety case around the switch to digital towers, I know exactly who to call. That sort of contact cannot be achieved through emails or telecons.

The host and organiser

What a wonderful week and honour to be treated as a guest in Paris. The CANSO and DSNA teams provided a world-class experience.

If you’re deciding whether or not to attend CANSO conferences, consider the value gained that cannot be replaced by sitting across from someone who wants to help you as you strive to improve aviation. There’s a network full of them.

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