CANSO recommends MARIA project as best practice in four areas


The Model of ATM Reality in Action (MARIA) project, developed by NAV Portugal, was recognized for the third consecutive year as a best practice for safety management systems in the civil aviation sector. The recognition was awarded by CANSO, an association that brings together more than 85% of air navigation service providers (ANSP).

According to CANSO’s definition, a best practice means a: “technique or methodology that, through experience and research, has proven to lead to the desired result reliably,” and more effectively “than any other technique, technology, method, etc.”.

MARIA’s distinction was revealed in the 2020 edition of the survey Standard of Excellence in Safety Management Systems (SoE in SMS Maturity Survey), carried out by CANSO and EUROCONTROL, an initiative that seeks to recognize the best contributions to the development of a proactive culture of security within the air navigation industry.

The NAV Portugal project was distinguished in four distinct areas: Safety Management Systems Documentation; Compliance with International Obligations; Safety Risk Management and Management of Change.

Regarding the first two areas, CANSO highlighted the commitment of NAV Portugal to go beyond compliance and operate under the highest international safety standards, highlighting that the company’s audits showed that the workers are well aware of the international and regional safety standards, for which MARIA plays a decisive role.

As forSafety Risk Management, the assessment by CANSO and Eurocontrol pointed out that NAV has mature processes in place for the anticipation, identification and reporting of hazards and threats, processes that are based on a combination of predictive, proactive and reactive methods and an integral part of the Model of ATM Reality in Action.

MARIA was also considered a best practice regarding management of change, as it allows to quickly diagnose the impact of any change in the entire chain influenced by that shift — an essential assessment for the approval of any change.

The dissemination and increased use of MARIA every year have been enhancing this project’s possibilities and reach. Despite being developed internally by NAV, MARIA is enriched through its growing use and the different interactions it collects. For this reason, CANSO considers that the NAV project: “is far from having reached its full potential, and further development and adhesion are expected,” in the coming years.

CANSO’s distinction rewards a project that represents a continued effort by NAV, recognizing with a degree of excellence the commitment of the team leading MARIA and all the departments of NAV Portugal involved in it.

In addition to the recognitions and awards that MARIA has received, the project has seen considerable demand from other ANSP, with the project to supply the Bulgarian provider, BULATSA, already in progress. Besides BULATSA, the most recent partner to contract MARIA was HungaroControl and others are now in negotiations with NAV.

In 2019, the Model of ATM Reality in Action was also recognized by CANSO as one of the eight projects that contributed the most to reducing risks associated with aviation that year.

Safety Management Systems Europe