ICAO Council President highlights new and exciting era emerging for global air traffic management

​At CANSO’s Sixth World Air Traffic Management (ATM) Congress in Madrid yesterday, the President of the ICAO Council, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu (left), highlighted new and exciting developments that are emerging in global air traffic management. In the presence of Spain’s Secretary of State, Mr. Julio Gómez-Pomar Rodríguez, Secretary of State (right), he also endorsed an agreement with the Minister of Public Works of Spain, Mr. Íñigo Joaquín de la Serna Hernáiz (centre), that will provide a framework for cooperation between ICAO and ENAIRE, the main provider of air navigation services in Spain.

Montréal and Madrid, 7 March 2018 – Speaking yesterday at CANSO’s Sixth World Air Traffic Management (ATM) Congress in Madrid, Spain, ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu told the gathered experts and leaders that airspace design and management would be changing dramatically in the years ahead “as more and more aircraft enter into service which fly higher, lower, faster, and much slower than those we manage today.”


“Today’s incredibly rapid rate of technological progress is now forcing us to acknowledge that a revolution is underway, with UAS navigating residential and urban environments for a wide range of purposes at one end of the spectrum, and high-altitude balloons, RPAS, and super- or hyper-sonic aircraft jetting across the stratosphere at the other.”


Regarding current commercial operations, Dr. Aliu stressed ICAO’s prioritization of the worldwide adoption of Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) approaches, underscoring the promise which ATFM holds out for more cost-, time- and fuel-efficient operations.


“ATFM optimizes the existing capacities of the air traffic management system through the more precise coordination of take-offs and landings,” he remarked. This means aircraft don’t find themselves placed into costly holding patterns when they reach their destinations, and that while in flight they can be more quickly and accurately routed around constrained airspace and unexpected weather events.”


The ICAO Council President also drew the audience’s attention to the fact that new space-based Automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) technology should eventually serve as a truly global aircraft positioning solution, redefining how seamlessly modern ATM will function and delivering important efficiency and emissions-reduction advantages.


“We do not yet have a global ADS-B mandate, however by 2020 a number of States and regions will be ADS-B capable and many commercial aircraft will be equipped with suitable transponders.”


President Aliu also strongly underlined the responsibility of the entire air transport community to ensure that there are sufficient numbers of skilled personnel to manage this increasingly complex technological foundation for 21st century aviation, noting that ICAO’s Global Plans for Aviation Safety and Air Navigation included helpful targets to assist planners and investors looking to optimize their flight capacity and the socio-economic benefits of today’s nascent operations.


“The horizon now before us is one I am convinced we can reach if we continue to work together, and certainly CANSO will be looked to by ICAO to play a key role in how we shape and realize this bold new future together,” he concluded.


The Congress also offered President Aliu the opportunity to meet with the Minister of Public Works of Spain, Mr. Íñigo Joaquín de la Serna Hernáiz, with whom he endorsed a Memorandum of Understanding reached between ICAO and ENAIRE, the main provider of air navigation services in Spain. Through this memorandum, ENAIRE will contribute to the  ICAO "No Country Left Behind" initiative. It provides for a new framework of cooperation between both organizations, enabling for example the development of training programs, professional mobility, and the donation of communications and air navigation equipment to countries that need to adapt and improve their systems.



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About ICAO

A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO was created in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, among many other priorities. The Organization serves as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation among its 192 Member States, helping governments to share their skies to their mutual and sustainable socio-economic benefit.


ICAO’s Air Navigation Capacity and Efficiency Strategic Objective
ICAO and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
ICAO’s No Country Left Behind Initiative


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