New chair joins CANSO’s Global Safety Standing Committee


Osman Saafan has been unanimously elected Chair of the Global Safety Standing Committee (SSC) of CANSO from 1 September 2020. This follows as Larry Lachance from NAV announced his intention to retire on 31 August after nearly 45 years of service to the ATM industry.

Osman Saafan is the Chief Safety and Security Officer and Director Corporate Military Affairs at DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH. In his present function, Osman is responsible for safety, security (including Cyber Security), ergonomics, human factors and civil-military cooperation in the field of air navigation services, including all areas of interest, such as airspace design and procedures, communication, navigation, surveillance, and aeronautical information management. Before joining DFS in 1996, he fulfilled many different operational roles and staff functions in the German Air Force, where he also gained operational experience as a tower and military en-route controller at the EUROCONTROL Maastricht UAC before working in the German Ministry of Defense. Osman has over 35 years’ experience in civil and military aviation and has held many leading roles in the Air Traffic Management industry during his career.

When asked about what the future holds for the SSC Osman said: “It is a great honour for me to take over the leadership of the CANSO SSC from now on. My thanks go to Larry Lachance, you have made a great contribution to safety during your chairmanship. All the best, Larry, for your retirement.

Looking forward to the activities ahead, I am pleased that the SSC leadership team is being strengthened by well-known fellow colleagues representing all regions. I am convinced that we are well placed to take on prevailing and upcoming challenges. The current situation in the whole aviation industry remains very difficult. The latest forecasts on the development of the traffic for the coming winter period are concerning. Without losing sight of our strategic objectives, it is crucial now to focus on what is the highest priority. We need to focus on the most important needs and activities of our members and help them to safely do what needs to be done right now. I am confident that we will master the situation together and trust in the power and creativity of the SSC with it work groups, task forces and all the fantastic and highly committed people who are active and involved. I also count and trust in the required strong collaboration between the SSC and the Operations Standing Committee (OSC) and I am also looking forward to improving the collaboration with our external stakeholders. All this, uniquely for the benefit of our members, in the current circumstances.”

The safety and security community is very much aware of the situation and will step up its efforts and focus on what is necessary now. We will review our work programme to the point where we have set the right priorities and identified where we need to adapt. We already exercised foresight and revitalized the working group Human Performance Management. Here we will focus on all relevant aspects when it comes to the greatest asset our industry has, our people. We will look at and support the anticipated transformation of our industry and touch on topics like the so-called Hybrid or joint cognitive AI-Human ATM System. We look forward to adapting the working structure with the reassignment of the working group Safety Performance Measurement (SPM) to the working group Safety Intelligence (SIWG), also under new leadership. We want to improve our capabilities when it comes to the management of the breathtaking amount of data we continuously collect. We want to produce and deliver the appropriate analytics in order to much better understand the current and emerging risks. Critical to the transformation of our industry and the introduction and use of new technologies, will be to do the right thing now and to do it safely. This requires appropriate and efficient methods to identify, assess and manage risks successfully.”

CANSO Safety