#CANSOOperations19: Creating a vision for a seamless future in ATM


Paul Fallow, Head of Aerodrome Services and Acting Head of Surveillance Services for Airways New Zealand and member of the CANSO Operations Standing Committee (OSC) Steering Committee, shares his thoughts on CANSO Global ATM Operations Conference 2019 day two.

Following a very active and interesting first day, the CANSO Operations conference entered day two, with a clear aim of drilling down to what can actually be done to move towards truly seamless skies. 

The first session focused on the question; is a seamless sky possible? Well the good news is that it is possible but in the words of one of the panel members John Walker, Senior Partner, The Padina Group, “it will require a new culture of globally focused thinking that answers the tough questions in a new way”. It was also stressed throughout the session that technology alone was not the answer and wider fresh thinking around meaningful collaboration, trust, economic models across borders, and the approach to regulations, will also be key and possibly more important.

While the first session highlighted the impact traditional boundaries and borders are having on the delivery of seamless services, the following panel explored the ways that these boundaries could be virtually dissolved through seamless cross boarder collaboration. Several great examples were given that demonstrated that borderless operation is possible, but more importantly, highlighted the core drivers for success. These are: learning by doing based on a joint global vision; aspiration and true collaboration with all stakeholders not just ANSPs; maintaining a continued focus on increasing overall airspace and airport capacity in an environment of interoperability; and seamless exchange of information globally.

After a fantastic lunch provided by our host DFS, we settled into the afternoon sessions which shifted focus to look at people and culture – the essential link. This provided a different perspective on seamless operations requirements. The underlying message was that to move towards seamless skies at a people level we need to work on a common vision and pattern of behaviours at all levels within and across organisations and national borders. We should not overlook that people will be at the heart of what we do today and for the foreseeable future and these people’s beliefs and actions will be the key determiner of success. We should however also not ignore the increased levels of automation that will be required to support them.

The challenge for any conference is to leave with a feeling that some action will result.  To achieve this, the final session of the day split those attending into small groups to turn the discussions into a series of meaningful actions that will be worked on over the next twelve months.  There was a range of great initiatives suggested that will mean we have plenty to consider in the coming year, and I look forward to exploring these with the CANSO community.

About the Author

Paul Fallow

Head of Aerodrome Services and Acting Head of Surveillance Services for Airways New Zealand

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