Navigating the future of ATM in the Asia Pacific


Kevin Shum, Director-General, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Asia Pacific CANSO CEO Committee (APC3) Chair, looks ahead to the CANSO Asia Pacific Conference 2019.

We are at an exciting crossroad for the aviation industry. New technologies and business models are being introduced. The world grows increasingly more connected. Air traffic continues to rise exponentially. The numbers are staggering. On the other hand, we are facing a shrinking workforce. ICAO expects that the industry will need an additional 620,000 pilots, 125,000 air traffic controllers and 1.3 million engineers and technicians. How will our industry cope? At the upcoming CANSO Asia Pacific Conference 2019, senior industry executives and leading innovators will be Navigating the Future of ATM in the Asia Pacific. 

With air traffic expected to double by 2036, the rising demand for skilled aviation professionals will come at a time when there is stiffening competition for talent across the region and from other sectors. The Asia Pacific air navigation services provider (ANSP) community will need to attract new resource and ensure that our skilled professionals remain qualified and competent to operate, manage and maintain our air traffic management (ATM) systems.

Given the growing complexities in managing air traffic, we must be open to new ways of doing things even as we strengthen existing skill sets. We need to strike a balance between being adaptive to changes and staying committed to safety to realise the region’s vision of a safe and seamless sky.

There are many projects underway to increase efficiency and enhance capacity. These include trajectory-based operations, air traffic flow management, smart digital towers, space-based ADS-B, service-oriented architecture for ATM systems, artificial intelligence and automation.

At the upcoming CANSO Asia Pacific Conference 2019, I am particularly looking forward to the panel on ‘Staying Ahead of the Curve in ATM’, as they delve deeper into significant ATM initiatives in the region. ATM Bureau will share their role in ATM in the planning and development of the new Beijing Daxing International Airport; JANS on their preparations for the 2020 Olympics; AEROTHAI on their new ATM system; and Airservices Australia on their OneSKY integrated civil-military ATM system. Underpinning these projects is the need for a strong emphasis on safety. This is something I personally believe in. Safety must start at the top and should resonate through every organisation in our industry.

A growing area of interest is the rapid proliferation of unmanned aircraft operations, or drones. With significant market growth potential, drones are expected to become a critical enabler to meet economic and strategic outcomes for many countries. This technology of flight is changing our skies and evolving the way we think about aviation. In the guest speaker session, Rakuten AirMap will explain the challenges and opportunities of drone operations, and how technology can balance safety and security considerations with commercial and operational needs of drone services.

With the unique challenges we face in the aviation industry today, there is no better time to come together. Come join us at the CANSO Asia Pacific Conference 2019 and tap into the vast resource of industry leaders with rich technological and operational knowledge.

CANSO Conferences Event Asia-Pacific