The Model of ATM Reality in Action (MARIA) project, developed by NAV Portugal, was ranked by CANSO at the CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference 2019, held on 4–7 November in Paris, as one of the eight projects that have contributed most to reducing the risks associated with aviation over the last year. CANSO is an organisation that brings together air navigation service providers (ANSP) and represents over 85% of world traffic.
The design of MARIA began in 2012 in the aim of compiling and systematising information on the entire air traffic management system, including not only the functions under the direct responsibility of NAV but also data on the rest of the community with which an ANSP interacts. This model documents the inter-dependence between functions, information flows, resources and procedures in different areas, in addition to the applicable national and international regulations.
The project was developed by the NAV Portugal team based on interviews and observations and has evolved through its use over recent years. The model is today used by NAV Portugal to describe the architecture of the air traffic management system and air control units, and also to anticipate and identify the hazards and make more accurate and efficient safety assessments.
MARIA allows the impacts of technical, operational or procedural changes on other aspects in a given area to be assessed, allowing undesired effects to be contained at the initial stage and improving the effectiveness of safety evaluations.
In addition to the international recognition granted by CANSO, MARIA had already aroused the interest of various international counterparts. It has been recognised and supported by EUROCONTROL, implemented at Hamburg control tower and has led to visits and requests for information by counterparts in Austria, Hungary, Georgia, Bulgaria and Qatar.
Given the way this model was developed, NAV Portugal is available to share and support its implementation with other ANSP.