Key issues

Capacity and traffic growth

It is widely expected that the demand for air travel will double over the next 20 years and that annual passenger increases of over 4% will be the norm, with the largest increases in traffic to be experienced in Asia and Africa.

These anticipated increases in travel demand will have a significant impact on our already busy skies.

The air traffic management industry is ready for the challenge.

CANSO Members are working together on the introduction of new capacity enhancing procedures and operational improvements, collaborating with airlines and airports on system-wide initiatives to ensure on-time arrivals, and collaborating with each other across borders in order to manage growing traffic levels efficiently.


Technology is a critical component of air traffic management (ATM). Innovative technologies are offering opportunities to improve safety, enhance efficiency and capacity of the airspace. These technologies are also dramatically changing the vehicles in the airspace, as new aircraft technologies as well as drones and commercial space vehicles make up an increasing proportion.

Through CANSO workgroups, ANSPs and ATM suppliers work together to explore technology trends and to investigate how new technologies might be applied to solve ATM challenges. New and emerging technologies are being continuously assessed to identify the potential impact on the ATM industry and performance.

CANSO’s Members develop and share research and best practices, identify potential benefits and risks and provide guidance for implementation.

Through our regions, regional technology investment planning and implementation approaches are discussed.

Together with other industry stakeholders, CANSO is striving to develop consensus on technological developments to ensure global harmonization and facilitate deployment of those technologies that promise to improve the safe management of our skies.


CANSO Members support over 90% of the world’s air traffic.

Airspace is a valuable resource and safely managing demands for airspace utilization is a core role of air traffic management.

The modernization of airspace design and aircraft approach and departure procedures to provide more efficient trajectories and ensure the safe management of growing traffic levels has been a significant activity in the past decade. Performance Based Navigation (PBN) technologies are offering significant improvements for both aircraft operators and air traffic services organizations.

New airspace users like drones, unmanned aircraft systems, unmanned free balloons, and commercial space vehicles into controlled airspace present many opportunities. Their safe integration into controlled airspace requires the adaptation of many of our traditional airspace structures. CANSO Members work with other stakeholders and within international regulatory agencies to ensure that our airspace structures and procedures are adapted to meet future requirements.


Safety is the first priority of the ATM industry. CANSO Members collaborate actively with other aviation industry and regulatory bodies to help address current and emerging safety risks through development of best practice in pursuit of continuous safety improvement.

We provide an important forum for discussion of local and regional current/emerging safety risks and the sharing of safety lessons. We promote global performance measures for safety and enable change by supporting innovation in service delivery. We work to enhance capabilities by providing coaching, mentoring, and training to our members. CANSO’s Standard of Excellence in Air Navigation Services – Safety (SEANS-Safety) initiative provides independent assessment to help ANSPs build and improve their safety management systems.


Aviation is responsible for the production of around 2% of all human induced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and 12% of emissions from transportation.

In 2021 CANSO joined with other industry stakeholders to pledge that global civil aviation operations will achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, supported by accelerated efficiency measures, energy transition and innovation across the aviation sector and in partnership with Governments around the world.

The ATM industry is working hard to help improve efficiency in our skies in order to reduce the impact of aviation activity on the environment. Our members are also working to minimise the impact of their own operations.

CANSO is an important vehicle for driving the type of change that is required in the near term and for ensuring harmonized approaches across borders.

Read more on aviation’s roadmap to net zero here

Watch a short video about the pathways to net zero here.


The aviation industry is a complex system with many players in the value chain; from airlines, general and business aviation, cargo operators, airports, air navigation service providers (ANSPs), aircraft manufacturers and maintenance organisations, drone operators, the commercial space industry and others. Collaboration amongst the parties is essential to the functioning of the system.

As an industry association CANSO is unique in bringing together the ATM industry and representing the interests of both ANSPs and ATM suppliers. That provides significant room for collaboration within our internal workgroups and task forces on key challenges. As the global voice of air traffic management (ATM) CANSO actively collaborates with other aviation stakeholders on issues of mutual interest. We are proud to partner in global and regional initiatives contributing to a safe, efficient and sustainable aviation industry. Through collaboration we make a difference.