Cross industry leaders collaborate on a vision for future skies


12 March 2021 – Leaders from across the aviation and aerospace industries met yesterday to start creating a blueprint for safely integrating all airspace users into future skies when the Complete Air Traffic System (CATS) Global Council met for the very first time.

The Global Council is an independent forum which brings together air navigation service providers (ANSP), UTM service providers, aircraft manufacturers, drone operators and manufacturers, high-tech companies, airlines, airports, regulatory authorities, space agencies and research bodies with the goal of building a vision for the skies together.

The forum was initiated by the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) at Amsterdam Drone Week last December. Simon Hocquard, Director General, CANSO said: “Until now, each of us has been working on our own agenda. ANSPs have been focused on an air traffic management vision of the future, drone operators have been concerned with unmanned traffic management, and space explorers have their vision for space flight. What was missing was an aligned vision for total traffic management. Together as CATS Global Council we aim to transform how we accommodate all airborne vehicles safely, efficiently and sustainably.”

“How do we march into the future? How do we capitalise on the big and exciting opportunities in front of us? Now is the time to act and the formation of this Global Council is an important first step,” added Richard Parker, CEO, Altitude Angel

“What we’re doing hasn’t been done before, so we don’t have all the answers and that’s OK. This Council is a great opportunity for us to learn from one another and focus on the problems we need to solve today while creating a future framework that will enable innovation,” said Margaret Nagle, Head of Policy and Government Affairs, Wing.

“This Council can play a crucial role by bringing different people and domains together. Achieving our long-term vision can’t happen overnight and preserving the safety and efficiency of existing operations is essential. It needs to be a carefully coordinated journey with the input of traditional players, building on the lessons learnt of more than 100 years of aviation experience, as well as exciting ideas from new entrants” said Todd Sigler, Senior Director for Global Safety and Regulatory Affairs at Boeing.

“Today we have a fragmented system. Each party is strong in its own role yet there is no real cohesion and coordination in our activities. Our aim in the Global Council is to agree a common vision of the future, to understand what we want to, and need to, achieve together. But it’s not just about a vision. This is a call for action to all of us and a starting point for the work that must follow,” added Patrick Ky, Executive Director, European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

“With this Council we have a unique opportunity to come together as a key driving force of the aviation ecosystem, take ownership and propose an agenda of radical change,” Jean Ferre, General Manager & Vice-President Airspace Mobility Solutions at Thales commented.

Find out more about the Global Council here.