How CANSO is improving ATM safety in the Middle East


The CANSO Middle East Region was established in 2009 to create a vision, strategy and programme to transform air traffic management (ATM) performance in the Middle East. It has become the voice of ATM in the region and has made significant progress in both operations and safety.

The development of ATM safety management systems (SMS) has faced many challenges in the Middle East. Among others, safety implementation levels vary considerably from ANSP to ANSP depending on resources, human factors, and financial issues.

Safety is our highest priority and CANSO is committed to enhancing safety in the Middle East region, ensuring that all safety activities at the regional and sub-regional level are properly coordinated and, where possible, that resources are shared.

Accordingly, CANSO has accepted the invitation of the ICAO Regional Aviation Safety Group – Middle East (RASG/MID) to champion a Safety Enhancement Initiative (SEI) related to SMS implementation for ATM, for which we have developed a plan with clear objectives and a detailed action plan with deliverables and targets that will lead to the achievement of the SEI.

Through the initiative, we aim to deepen our relationship with ICAO in the region in addressing ATM challenges, such as increasing traffic demand, the implementation of new technology, the growth in unmanned aircraft, increasing automation, and others, while maintaining and improving safety.

In November, CANSO conducted a three day ATM SMS workshop in Muscat, Oman, hosted by Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA). It provided an overview of ICAO’s Annex 19 Safety Management Manual (DOC 9859), the CANSO Standard of Excellence in Safety Management Systems and CANSO’s approach to Just Culture. The workshop also differentiated between hazards and risks, and provided insight into CANSO Member best practice in SMS implementation. The workshop was attended by 33 participants, including five regional ANSPs, and offered important practical and strategic information on boosting SMS in the Middle East.

This initiative is just one example of how CANSO is applying its global safety expertise in a regional context, helping to promote meaningful participation and encouraging commitment among ANSPs in the region to improve safety best practice. CANSO’s partnership with other aviation stakeholders and regulators is an important part of this, and helps promote effective cooperation in the region and safe, efficient and effective ATM – both now and in the future.

If you would like to find out more about CANSO Middle East, please take a look at the latest CANSO updates and recent news stories. You can also read more on CANSO’s safety initiatives, workgroups and guidance material here.

Safety Middle East