Embracing a collaborative leadership approach


Kevin Haggerty, VP, International Collaboration & Global Aviation Solutions, CGH Technologies, Inc, explores the CANSO-CGH CADENCE initiative and the power of collaborative leadership.

CGH Technologies, Inc., is proud to partner with CANSO in offering a regional, cross-border ATFM/CDM solution at the global level for ANSPs and regional and international stakeholders. 

Building upon the very successful CANSO ATFM Data Exchange Network for the Americas (CADENA), the same capabilities and benefits can now be realised with this new platform CADENCE (CANSO ATFM Data Exchange Network for Cooperative Excellence).

The CADENCE platform will be used as both a common regional CDM tool as well as a tool to provide a global view for critical cross-regional issues, such as commercial space launches/recoveries and contingency operations such as volcanic ash and hurricanes.

This initiative is not only an example of the key partnerships CANSO fosters across the industry but also its approach to delivering operational best practice.

A collaborative approach

For many years CANSO has promoted CDM as the main principle that drives ATFM strategy and has produced valuable publications on the subject, such as the CANSO Guide to Implementing ATFM and CDM.  In doing so, CANSO has employed a collaborative leadership approach in such a way that has enabled aviation to cooperatively address and tackle traffic management issues with all stakeholders having a voice in the solution. In my opinion, this has been no small feat. 

David Chrislip and Carl Larson, in their book Collaborative Leadership (1994), state that “…if you bring the appropriate people together in constructive ways with good information, they will create authentic visions and strategies for addressing the shared concerns of the organisation or community.” 

It is for this simple concept that working with CANSO has been so rewarding. By helping to bring people together, in this case ATFM experts and airspace users, to discuss and problem-solve as a group has proven more effective and efficient than traditional command and control structures. 

Coordinating crisis response

Using the success of the CADENA initiative establishing COVID-19 Vaccine Priority Flights as an example, it was the combination of user needs (expedited humanitarian flights) and service provider willingness to solve the problem that resulted in successful operational implementation. 

CANSO helped to facilitate this by creating a platform where the flight information regions (FIRs) of Miami, Cuba, Jamaica, Panamá, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, and Chile, along with airline representatives and IATA could discuss, plan, and implement the operational solution of prioritised routes. What I think important to understand and appreciate is that CANSO enabled two major milestones of collaborative leadership: buy-in and trust.

Of trust and buy-in

There is no CDM on a regional and global scale without the buy-in of ANSPs and the airline users.  If any participant feels that regional CDM will not work – chances are that it will not succeed.

Further, the trust that each domestic FIR would take the appropriate actions individually, thereby allowing the collective implementation, provides assurance to the airlines to plan accordingly with confidence.   

Buy-in of the CADENA and CADENCE platform can be demonstrated by what ANSPs and airlines have accomplished with the platform to date. As of June 2021, CADENA has held 237 weekly ATFM/CDM operational planning web conferences, 10 contingencies ad-hoc CDM web conferences, and four Space Launch and Recovery ATM CDM web conferences.

Likewise, trust has been established over this time by CANSO ensuring availability and support of the platform without the burden of entry such programmes normally entail.

Enhancing ATM day by day

What is hard to measure but easy to see is the experience gained by the ANSP ATFM Units who engage consistently in regional CDM. For each day that passes and every ATFM problem being solved, service provision is enhanced. 

With over 30-years of public service as compared to two-years of commercial aviation experience, I along with my co-workers appreciate the opportunity to participate in an industry effort, led by CANSO, to provide a simple yet effective solution to the aviation community as a whole.