Marking milestones in ATM operations


Armin Beirle, CANSO Operations Standing Committee (OSC) Chair and Head of ACC Langen, DFS, shares key highlights from the recent OSC Full Workgroup meeting.

After spending a week with our Operations Standing Committee (OSC) workgroups (WG), task forces (TF) and Steering Committee (SC) members at the OSC Full Workgroup meeting in Amsterdam, generously hosted by NLR, I couldn’t be prouder of the team or more excited for the future.

Inspiring collaboration and innovation

The week began with welcome messages from both Mr Simon Hocquard, CANSO Director General, and Professor Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DFS and OSC Champion on the CANSO Executive Committee. Their messages echoed the call for collaboration to discover innovative solutions to the challenges facing our industry, as highlighted in my last blog post.

It was also an opportunity to explore and discuss the latest developments in ATM. Mr Ahmad Bakkar of NLR provided an overview of NLR and the extraordinary work they’re performing to address emerging challenges and arranged an exclusive insight into their research facilities. In addition, Mr Eduardo Garcia, CANSO’s Europe ATM coordination and Safety Manager, facilitated a panel discussion on the recent restructure of Dutch airspace. We were honoured to have Mr Rene Vrugt, Program Director of Airspace Restructuring, Ministry of Infrastructure; Mr Armand Jongen, Program Director, Airspace Restructuring – LVNL; Mr Roland Vercammen, Head of Department, ATM and Airports, NLR; and Mr Jelle Zijlstra, Liaison for the Ministry of Defense, to discuss the status and emerging challenges of the initiative.

Regional focus

Providing a regional perspective of ATM developments is essential for understanding the diverse requirements across the membership. Together the participants explored the challenges and opportunities for ATM in Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin American and the Caribbean; from new entrants to airspace and capacity, to introducing new technologies and processes like ATFM, A-CDM and PBN. CANSO is committed to its regional focus for delivering ATM transformation and continues to work with each region on key operational initiatives.

Sharing key developments

Sharing experience is to give the gift of knowledge and our OSC workgroups and taskforces had the opportunity to highlight key achievements of the past 12 months, and their ideas, goals and work plans for the upcoming year, including new and emerging best practice guidance. This showed the breadth of industry insight and innovation that together CANSO’s members share and develop.

As I was listening to various groups, I was struck by how interdependent their work is. Work of the Enivironment Workgroup, for example, integrates with the workgroups focussed on ATFM, PBN, UTM and DLI. And the work of the Smart Digital Towers Task Force (SDT TF) will require collaboration with not only the OSC’s AIM Workgroup, but our peers in the Safety Standing Committee (SSC) Cyber-Security Workgroup. So as we wind our way towards our goal of a harmonised, seamless airspace system, it therefore becomes more important to work together – the interdependence of technology, systems and personnel require that we all work together to achieve this goal, and that is our objective.

Engaging experts

During the week we also welcomed new members to our community. I am delighted to welcome:

  • Ms Branka Subotic as Co-Chair to the Operational Performance Workgroup (OP WG)
  • Capt. Mary McMillan, Mr Paul Dunholter and Mr Pascal Hochstrasser as the new Co-Chairs of the Environmental Workgroup (ENV WG)
  • Ms Angela Kies as Co-Chair of the new Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) Task Force (UTM TF) 
  • Ms Lisa Bee and Mr Orville Shaw as the new Co-Chairs of the Data Link Implementation Task Force (DLI TF)

They bring experience, wisdom and energy to these groups and I am confident that their presence will result in remarkable outcomes. 

I’d also like to thank returning Chairs and Co-Chairs;

  • Mr Aleksandr Estrov (Aeronautical Information Management Workgroup, AIM WG)
  • Mr Sugoon ‘Kin’ Fucharoen (Air Traffic Flow Management Workgroup, ATFM WG)
  • Mr Dieter Guenter (Performance-based Navigation Workgroup, PBN WG)
  • Mr Lance King and Mr.John Page (Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Emerging Technology Workgroup, UAS/ET WG)
  • Mr Valerly Khavanov (Operational Performance Workgroup, OP WG)
  • Mr Niclas Gustavsson (Smart/Digital Tower Task Force, SDT TF)
  • Larry Ley (Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) Task Force, UTM TF)

And of course the OSC SC Vice-Chair, Doug Davis and OSC SC Members: Paul Fallow, Milton Yang, Marilyn Yates and Urs Lauener for their outstanding commitment. Last but not least my heartfelt thanks to Coleen Hawrysko, CANSO Operations Programme Manager, (and her team), for her support to reach our goals.

Our path ahead

Throughout the OSC Full Workgroup meeting, our groups were challenged to research and develop innovative and creative solutions for our industry challenges, and you will see in the coming months how they are rising to this challenge. Keep an eye out for the latest publications, blog updates, and upcoming events, get in touch with the team to find out more or consider joining this extraordinary team.

As Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Be part of our success!

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