Championing the Latin America and Caribbean region globally


General Heraldo Rodrigues, Director General of DECEA and CANSO Executive Committee Member at Large, outlines his commitment to the industry.

The CANSO 24th Annual General Meeting (AGM) was my first AGM, and even though it was a virtual event CANSO made it feel like a face-to-face event it so professional and well organised. It was good to experience first-hand  how CANSO and its members are connecting, collaborating with one another and providing added value to the ATM industry.

As you may have seen at the AGM, my colleague, Graeme Summer, CEO of Airways New Zealand, and I were nominated as members at large to the CANSO Executive Committee (ExCom). Also, Don Thoma, CEO of Aireon, and Conor Mullan, Managing Director of Think Research Ltd, were re-elected as Associate Member representatives.

I am grateful for your support, and the trust you have shown in me and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to be part of the CANSO ExCom. I am aware of the relevance of CANSO’s mission as well as the responsibilities of an ExCom member, and I assure you  that I am going to provide full support, and facilitate the development of air traffic management (ATM) in the Latin America and Caribbean region and across the globe.  


A little bit about me and my background; I was appointed Director-General of DECEA on 14 April 2020, with responsibility for the safety and efficiency of the approximately 22 million square kilometres of Brazilian airspace – a very extensive area to cover and not an easy task.  My professional career up to that point prepared me to take on such an important assignment. 

During my 40 years in experience in aviation, I held high level positions in the Air Force Command, and acquired a great deal of knowledge and skills, as Deputy-Chief of the Air Force Staff, Director of Air Force Economy and Finance, Undersecretary of Contracts and Agreements and Undersecretary of Financial Administration.

My connection to air navigation began at the start of my career. I also have over 4,500 flight hours with 2,500 hours on fighter aircraft. 


I am a firm believer in cooperation and Brazil assists its neighbours and supports many projects and initiatives in the South America region. On many occasions, DECEA has assisted Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay on the restructure of their airspace, exchanging best practices, lessons learned and we continue to contribute to projects in the South America region.

My appointment demonstrates Brazil’s commitment to continue with the spirit of cooperation, and sharing of best practices in the ATM field, both at a regional and global level. In parallel to my nomination, the Brazilian Government submitted the candidacy of Mr Ary Rodrigues Bertolino to the post of Secretary-General of ICAO. Mr Bertolino has an established history with CANSO, having served as the Vice President of the Latin American and Caribbean CEO Committee (CANSO’s LAC3) and as the rapporteur of the Automation and Data Base working group of the Caribbean and South America Regional Planning Group (GREPECAS), and like myself, is poised to offer his wealth of experience and guidance to the international aviation community. To conclude, I am honoured that CANSO members elected me to the CANSO Executive Committee. Joining the CANSO ExCom is a privilege and I am committed to support our industry to move into the future.  

CANSO Latin America and Caribbean