CANSO welcomes decisions by States and ICAO that will actively facilitate the changing face of air traffic management
Montréal, 22 October 2018 – CANSO, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, welcomed the outcomes of the ICAO Thirteenth Air Navigation Conference. States approved CANSO recommendations on enabling investment in ATM infrastructure; harmonising the approach to standards around the world; adopting a performance-based approach to regulation; embracing new technologies and airspace users; and tackling cyber security. CANSO is committed to working with States and industry partners to implement the results of the Conference.
CANSO Director General, Jeff Poole, said: “We are delighted that States have strongly supported and approved the recommendations in all nine CANSO papers, which address challenges including growing air traffic, new entrants to airspace such as drones, high altitude and space vehicles, and the cyber threat. These decisions will enable the ATM industry to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by a range of new technologies in the years ahead. In particular, we are pleased that States are taking a performance-based approach to regulation – looking at what is to be achieved rather than prescribing how to do it or which specific solutions are to be used.”
As the global voice of air traffic management (ATM), CANSO plays an important role in advising and working with States and ICAO to enhance the safety and improve the efficiency of global airspace. The CANSO delegation played a full part in the ICAO Thirteenth Air Navigation Conference (AN-Conf/13). CANSO will also take the key recommendations forward at the 40th Session of the ICAO Assembly in 2019.
Jeff Poole continued: “The decisions made at this Conference will facilitate and provide further impetus to the tremendous improvements in air traffic management that are already happening and which will increase in pace in the coming years. We will now work together with ICAO, States and industry partners to implement the decisions and fully exploit the opportunities they offer and facilitate. CANSO will also play a key role in evolving and ensuring delivery of the ICAO Global Air Navigation Plan and its ICAO Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBUs) and the revised Global Aviation Safety Plan. Effective implementation is crucial, so I am pleased that ICAO has accepted my suggestion to form a small group to ensure that we have a common understanding of what is required, the challenges and opportunities, and how best to speed up implementation across the globe.
CANSO also recognises that safely implementing the latest technologies, such as automation and artificial intelligence, impacts air traffic control staff. A high level of performance from the humans in the system has never been so important. Adaptation and flexibility are necessary in order to keep ATM safe, efficient and effective at global, regional and national levels. CANSO is, therefore, developing a Standard of Excellence in Human Performance Management to help ANSPs manage these changes and improve human performance. The Standard of Excellence and its implementation will be discussed in detail at the CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference in Banff, Canada, on 26-30 November and will be launched in 2019.
Jeff Poole concluded: “The Thirteenth Air Navigation Conference delivered important decisions for improved ATM that will contribute to global connectivity and the economic and social benefits of aviation. With good cooperation from all stakeholders, these decisions provide a strong foundation for all levels of airspace to be managed safely, effectively and seamlessly for any airspace user and to be able to embrace new technologies and procedures now and in the years to come.”
Investment in ATM infrastructure. CANSO encourages States to develop robust plans to guide funding priorities and encourage long-term planning and strategic balance for investment in ATM and other infrastructure. ICAO can further help by continuing to promote the separation of regulation from service provision; and by promoting the benefits of allowing ANSPs to act as normal businesses to be free from the uncertainties of government budgets and be able to make the long-term business plans required for ATM.
Global standards. The industry is working towards a highly interoperable global data environment that supports operational concepts such as trajectory-based operations (TBO); system-wide information management (SWIM); and the safe integration of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) and unmanned aerial systems (UAS). All of these require detailed technical specifications to be harmonised globally. CANSO is, therefore, asking ICAO to advise standards organisations that their proposals should follow a standard approach to ensure global interoperability
Performance based approach to regulation. CANSO is asking regulators to take an approach to regulation based on what is to be achieved. For example, CANSO believes there is no need to change regulatory requirements to accommodate the use of remote / digitised air traffic control towers as remote towers fulfil the same performance requirements as conventional towers; performance indicators would be the same; and the regulatory oversight remains unchanged.
Space-based surveillance. Another transformative new technology about to come on stream is space-based surveillance which will enable tracking of aircraft in remote and oceanic areas not currently covered. CANSO is asking ICAO to support the further embedding of this ATS surveillance capability into existing Standards and Recommended Practices, the Global Air Navigation Plan and guidance materials as another means of surveillance from which to choose.
Cyber threat. Aviation systems have become more interconnected and rely on managing and sharing data through initiatives such as system wide information management or SWIM. But this increased interconnectivity is potentially vulnerable to cyber-attack. CANSO advocates: including a commitment to cyber security governance for all phases of SWIM development and deployment; for ICAO to create guidelines for States to ensure the protection layer is proactively managed; for ICAO to advise States on the need to create contingency plans; and to promote information security awareness and training for aviation employees.
Space and near-space operations. CANSO is asking ICAO to develop guidelines: on reducing separation distances and on minimising the temporary flight restrictions that segregate aircraft from rockets during the launch window, without decreasing safety; and on equipage of vehicles and guidance to coordinate their travel through controlled airspace. CANSO believes that space and near space operators should implement safety management systems (SMS) to integrate these vehicles into the aviation system.
Drones / unmanned aerial vehicles. The increase in remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has given rise to the development of UAS traffic management (UTM) systems or U-Space in Europe. CANSO is asking ICAO to ensure that UTM is interoperable with existing ATM, can be demonstrated to be at an equivalent level of safety, and comply with the rules of airspace. It is important that UTM systems should not be developed in isolation from current ATM systems. CANSO is also calling for a system to be established so that air traffic management is alerted when a controller loses the radio link to an unmanned aerial vehicle.