Air Traffic Management and Emerging Airspace Entrants come together for three days in Madrid

- Madrid, Spain

The eighth annual World ATM Congress, held at Feria de Madrid, concluded on Thursday, 28 October. The world’s largest air traffic management (ATM) event attracted over 5,400 attendees and 172 exhibitors from 117 countries and territories.

His Majesty the King of Spain inaugurated the three-day Congress. His Majesty was joined by Secretary of State for Transportation, Mobility and Urban Agenda and ENAIRE President Isabel Pardo de Vera; CANSO Director General Simon Hocquard; and ATCA President and CEO Brian R. Bruckbauer.

I would like to thank the organisers of this Congress—the most important one worldwide—namely CANSO, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, and ATCA, the Air Traffic Control Association, for choosing and placing their trust in Spain, and in the city of Madrid, as its venue,” His Majesty said Tuesday morning. “We appreciate this, as recognition of a job well done during the eighth consecutive editions we have had the honour to host you. Our wish is that you continue to trust us as hosts in this event for many years to come."

The IFEMA Exhibition Hall featured 172 exhibitors from around the world. In total, seven theatres hosted 170+ sessions and 125 hours of programming. More than 200 aviation experts from industry, government, labour, and educational institutions participated in presentations, panel discussions, technical briefings, and product demonstrations and launches.  

We are delighted by the turnout, enthusiasm, and energy at World ATM Congress 2021,” read a joint statement from ATCA’s Brian Bruckbauer and CANSO’s Simon Hocquard. “The conversations, presentations, and technology demonstrations attest that today is a new day. Partnerships were formed and colleagues, clients, and friends were reunited. It was and is of vital importance that we come back together to do the work to move air traffic management forward into a new era.

A new era is indeed here. World ATM Congress 2021 saw the introduction of a new partnership undertaken by World ATM Congress with Expodrónica, Spain’s premier drone event. TheExpondrónica Pavilion Expondrónica Pavilion, co-located at this year’s Congress, played host to 60 exhibitors who provided attendees with the opportunity to engage experts in advanced air mobility (AAM), UAS traffic management (UTM), autonomous and remotely piloted aerial vehicles (AAV/RPAS), and other drone or AAM-related services.

“World ATM Congress and Expodrónica is introducing, for the first time worldwide, an event of cohesion, with a common project, inspiring and with a clear proposition which is building the sky of the future,” said Expodrónica President Isabel Buatas. “I want you to feel part of this project and during these three days we can build together bridges of understanding and collaboration in order to find solutions for the upcoming challenges.

Thursday afternoon saw large drone flight demonstrations at nearby Cuatro Vientos Airport. During Thursday’s groundbreaking demonstrations, drones will share active airport airspace with civil and military air traffic. They will also do so in a highly complex operation, combining 12 unmanned aircraft tests at Cuatro Vientos Aerodrome. This is the world’s most complex operation ever held at an active airport. 

World ATM Congress 2021 hosted the second annual Maverick Awards programme, honouring outstanding achievement in three categories of air traffic management: collaboration, innovation, and sustainability. Over 60 nominations were received from which three finalists were selected for each category. In the end, ASECNA took home the honours in the category of collaboration, with the Four-Dimensional Trajectories (4DT) Live Flight Demonstration (LFD) Team winning for innovation, and Frequentis Orthogon for sustainability.

World ATM Congress is produced by the industry for the industry, and brings together governments, industry, academia, and frontline users from across the world, all with the aim of enhancing the efficiency and improving the safety of the airspace.

World ATM Congress is a Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) partnership with the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA), with support from platinum sponsors Indra and Thales, gold sponsor Aviation Week, and bronze sponsors Boeing and Nokia. World ATM Congress will reconvene 21 -23 June 2022. Exhibition space and sponsorship opportunities are now available for 2022.


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