The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations annual regional meeting for the Asia Pacific was held 30th November to the 2nd December in Macau, China. There were approximately 110 delegates and 10 aircrew, representing 15 countries and 8 airlines. The theme of the meeting was “What PBN can do for you”. A large delegation of representatives from the airline community were invited to enable a common message to be delivered to both groups from the keynote speakers on the subject.
A survey of MAs in the Asia Pacific prior to the ASPRM indicated that PBN was being rapidly implemented in the region, but it was obvious that it was being deployed in a very conventional manner. IFATCA took the position that some expert presenters were needed to educate operational staff in current ‘best practice. Though the generous sponsorship of NATCA and Eurocontrol it was possible to gain the services of two PBN experts. Jeff Woods from NATCA has presented previously to an IFATCA audience on the subject on two occasions. Jeff has extensive background on the implementation process as a study lead at several major airfields and city pairs in the USA. Franca Pavlicevic, from Eurocontrol, is not only a leading authority on the design of PBN airspace; she provides instruction on implementation as an educator. Together they provided a technical background on the development and implementation of PBN. This was followed by a workshop focusing on the current best practice for ensuring the maximum benefit of PBN.
Day one had presentations on the value of standardised operating techniques for both aircrew and ATC to best produce the high movement rates that are possible at the leading dual and single runway airfields in Europe. It was highlighted that change within the region on operational matters would only occur if ICAO amended operational documents such as Doc 4444, Air Traffic Management. IFATCA has achieved such prominence in providing research to drive change on many subjects in aviation, that MAs were challenged to participate in the professional (PLC) and technical (TOC) committees to engage in positive change for our profession. Essentially the message was to take up the challenge and not leave the task to others.
IFALPA and CANSO also made excellent presentations relevant to operational controllers. Following the meeting, the MAs will be encouraged to participate in a process of change to facilitate current and future directions within our profession to drive a process of change, rather than be a passenger. The EB has planned for technical workshop for the Asia Pacific region mid-year 2016.