World ATM Congress recognises outstanding achievement in aviation, announces Maverick Awards finalists


ATCA (the Air Traffic Control Association) and CANSO (the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation) are honoured to announce the finalists for the inaugural Maverick Awards presented by World ATM Congress. The Awards recognise outstanding achievements in innovation, collaboration, and sustainability in air traffic management (ATM).

“As the world’s largest ATM exposition, World ATM Congress is the perfect venue to acknowledge and celebrate the many advancements our community has made this past year,” said ATCA President and CEO Peter F. Dumont. “These awards represent three of our industry’s most important pillars: collaboration, innovation, and sustainability—all in the name of aviation safety.”

In this first year, over 100 nominations were received, which were narrowed down to nine finalists, three in each award category.

The Collaboration Award recognises the importance of effective relationships and partnerships within/across disciplines and sectors to achieve a shared goal.

The finalists for the Collaboration Award are (in alphabetical order):

  • ASECNA  for Unifying African Skies with space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and other innovative technologies across all six Flight Information Regions (FIRs).
  • A consortium of Heathrow Airport Limited, NATS, L3Harris Orthogon, and EUROCONTROL for the introduction of Target Times of Arrivals at Heathrow Airport through SESAR project PJ24.
  • NATSNAV CANADA, and Aireon LLC  for the innovative development and deployment of the world’s first global, real-time space-based ADS-B service.

The Innovation Award recognises new ideas, technologies, and concepts that challenge current ATM norms with the potential to significantly advance performance, operations, or capabilities.

The finalists for the Innovation Award are:

  • Austro Control for its project “Plate Lines – A Method to Accelerate Wake Vortex Decay During Final Approach,” infrastructure that accelerates the decay of wake vortices on the ground proximity by about 30 percent, making wake encounters less likely.
  • NASA for its successful, simultaneous flight of multiple small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in a complex urban environment using the UAS Traffic Management (UTM) system.
  • Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions and Scandinavian Mountains Airport for building a new innovative airport equipped with remote and digital tower services from a remote tower centre.

The Sustainability Award recognises leaders, initiatives, and organisations working towards reducing aviation’s impact on the environment and making significant contributions to improving the environmental footprint of aviation through ATM.

The finalists for the Sustainability Award are:

  • ENAIRE for the design and development of a monitoring mechanism which saved, through ATC direct clearance, about 7 million nautical miles for flights managed in Spanish airspace, preventing the emission of 243,000 CO2 tons into the atmosphere.
  • HungaroControlBULATSA, and ROMATSA for the SEE FRA / SEEN FRA project (South East Europe Free Route Airspace), allowing operators to fly on optimised profiles across FIR boundaries of Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania, which has the potential to save up to 10000 nautical miles, conserving 80 tons of fuel and 250 tons of CO2 emissions daily.
  • NAV CANADA for becoming the first ANSP in the world to implement ICAO’s new standard: Established on Required Navigation Performance Authorisation Required (RNP AR) and showing a reduction of over 4.1 million kgs of CO2 emissions.

“To receive over 100 nominations for our inaugural awards was an incredible achievement and is an indicator of the significant advances we’re making together as an ATM industry,” said CANSO Director General Simon Hocquard. “The quality of the nominations was incredibly high – my congratulations to all those that made the shortlist. They have set the bar high for future years!”

A special thank you to our renowned panel of judges: Eammon Brennan, Director General, EUROCONTROL; Teri Bristol, Chief Operating Officer, FAA Air Traffic Organization (ATO); Peter F. Dumont, President and CEO, ATCA; Simon Hocquard, Director General, CANSO; Capt. Gilbert Kibe, Director General, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority; Hon. Donna Mclean, Founder and Owner, Donna McLean Associates, LLC.

The winner of each category will be announced at World ATM Congress 2020 in Madrid, Spain during the Maverick Awards Ceremony, held at 15:00 – 16:00 Tuesday, 10 March, in the Wing ATM Theatre. The Awards ceremony will be hosted by ATCA’s President and CEO Peter F. Dumont and CANSO’s Director General Simon Hocquard. Registration for the event is free. To learn more and register, visit

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