Enhancing regional focus on ATM safety


Hai Eng Chiang, CANSO Asia Pacific Affairs Director, outlines how CANSO Members are leveraging regional partnerships to meet global safety goals

Every day, over a hundred thousand flights take to the sky. These flights routinely cross national borders and airspace boundaries to deliver passengers and cargo safely to their destinations. Clearly, our efforts to improve safety in air traffic management must also cross national borders and airspace boundaries to be truly effective. 

In the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, where air traffic growth has been rising at an unprecedented pace, safety is the number one priority. CANSO APAC Members understand that they must not only raise safety standards within their ANSP but also at the regional level. After all, for a flight crossing multiple Flight Information Regions, the safety chain can only be as strong as its weakest link.

The power of partnership

To this end, the CANSO Asia Pacific Safety Workgroup has been meeting regularly since its formation in 2012 to collaborate on safety improvement efforts through regional workshops and the sharing of experiences and best practices. In 2016, the Workgroup published the CANSO Asia Pacific Regional Safety Implementation Strategy to coordinate regional safety improvement actions, as well as serve as a guide to the safety programmes of individual ANSPs, taking into consideration the operational context and safety challenges in the region.

Since then, the Workgroup has been monitoring implementation progress and targeting areas for improvement. Workshops in areas such as safety culture, safety change management, fatigue risk management, human performance and the application of the Risk Analysis Tool have been conducted. The Workgroup has also established a safety knowledge repository for the region with links to CANSO global guidance material and promoted the uptake of safety performance benchmarking and safety management system maturity assessment.

As a result of the work done over the past two years, a second (2019) edition of the CANSO Asia Pacific  Safety Implementation Strategy has been developed. While the context and strategic themes remain unchanged, the implementation progress has been summarised to reflect successes and the evolving maturity and safety improvement needs of the region. The publication also offers regional and global stakeholders, including regulators, airline and pilot associations, insight into how the developing regional strategy can contribute to aviation safety and support contribution to cross-industry cooperation.

Regional solutions for global issues

The CANSO Asia Pacific Regional Safety Implementation Strategy is a great example of what can be achieved when ANSPs work together on common challenges. The united efforts of CANSO Members have helped to enhance cooperation between stakeholders and improve safety in the region.

Alongside other regional initiatives such as ATFM and ADS-B data-sharing, CANSO Members are demonstrating how global ATM issues can be tackled effectively through a strong regional focus. Advocating the important role of the ATM industry in regional aviation networks, establishing a united presence and tackling both global and regional issues on a local level are all vital components of this approach, and one which each ANSP can learn and benefit from.

The CANSO Asia Pacific Safety Implementation Strategy is available here. To find out more about CANSO’s regional initiatives, please get in touch with our regional teams.

CANSO Asia-Pacific Safety