CANSO, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, urged States to facilitate the economic benefits that rapid growth in air traffic is bringing to Latin America and the Caribbean. CANSO outlined three key focus areas to modernise air navigation infrastructure to handle this growth: effective advocacy to persuade State decision-makers of the importance of investing in air traffic management (ATM) infrastructure; implementing the Aviation System Block Upgrades; and further strengthening partnerships with ICAO, States and the aviation industry.
Speaking at the CANSO Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Conference in Mexico City, CANSO Director General, Jeff Poole, said, “The aviation industry in the LAC region provides the connectivity that drives economic and social development and provides access to markets. There is a direct link between growth in aviation and sustainable GDP growth. So, the air traffic management (ATM) industry must ensure it provides the right infrastructure to handle the rapid growth in the region safely and efficiently.”
“We have a clear road map to achieve the necessary infrastructure improvements through CANSO’s strategic plan, Vision 2020, which is aligned with ICAO’s Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBUs). They provide a great opportunity to modernise air navigation infrastructure and transform ATM performance across the region.”
The ASBUs provide the industry with a road map for planning airspace enhancements over the next 15 years. Their implementation will lead to greater harmonisation of airspace; allow aircraft to fly precisely defined paths without relying on ground-based radio navigation systems; enable more accurate tracking of aircraft through satellite technology; and better management of traffic flows through anticipating demand versus capacity. The benefits of implementing ASBUs are significant and include: enhanced safety; greater efficiency; increased predictability; better use of capacity; reduced airborne holding and delays; and lower environmental impact, both emissions and noise.
Poole outlined the progress of the industry in modernising infrastructure, “States and ANSPs are making steady progress on implementing the upgrades. We fully understand that some ANSPs have more resources than others and that is why CANSO is providing assistance on implementation to those States and ANSPs that need it. This includes training courses, seminars and CANSO’s guide to ASBU implementation. However, we would like to see better progress on implementing some of the ASBU modules such as performance-based navigation (PBN), which is behind schedule. We need to communicate the benefits of PBN and ensure not only that ANSPs are PBN-capable but also that airlines fully accept PBN; have the appropriate avionics; and their crews trained in PBN procedures. This is where effective partnership and collaboration is essential.”
Poole concluded, “There are quite a few challenges for air traffic management in the LAC region but a lot of opportunities. I am very pleased with the progress that has been achieved in the four years that CANSO has had an office in the region. For the future, in addition to our focus on safety, I believe strongly that we should all focus on three main areas to secure the benefits of improved ATM performance in Latin America and the Caribbean: talking more to the real decision-makers about the economic benefits of aviation and convincing them of the importance of investing in ATM infrastructure; using the opportunities offered by the implementation of ASBUs to modernise and upgrade ATM in the region and in particular make progress in implementing PBN; and further strengthening the partnership with ICAO, States and our industry colleagues to truly transform ATM performance in this important and growing region.”