World ATM Congress opens in Madrid, Showcasing New Technology, Advancing the Business of ATM and Adapting to change

- Madrid, Spain

The fifth annual World ATM Congress opened this morning at IFEMA, Feria de Madrid. The Congress brings together aviation leaders to discuss, demonstrate, and promote the latest technologies and measures to transform air traffic management (ATM) performance globally. This year a record number of participants are expected and 230 exhibitors have registered to attend the world's largest air traffic management event. World ATM Congress is produced by the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) in partnership with the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA), and runs through 9 March.

"ATM is a truly global business that is evolving quickly to meet the needs of air navigation service providers (ANSPs), governments, frontline users, airlines, and passengers. World ATM Congress spotlights the technology that enhances and protects the world's airspace and brings thousands of stakeholders to the table," said Peter F. Dumont, ATCA President and CEO. "When ATCA and CANSO agreed in 2011 to partner on this event, we knew that World ATM Congress would be the premier destination for aviation leaders around the globe. Our rapid success and the success of our exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees speak to how World ATM Congress satisfies a need in our industry - a need to connect, put faces to names, learn from each other, and forge career-long business and personal relationships. With the influx of new entrants into our systems, including unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and commercial space vehicles, the conversations we have in the Conference, in the Exhibition Hall, and in the presentation theatres this week will move us into the future of a more modern, diverse global airspace. As the airspace evolves, so does our event. At World ATM Congress, we do not see it as 'thinking outside the box.' We see it as making the box bigger.

Jeff Poole, Director General of CANSO, said, "World ATM Congress is the largest global ATM event and has rapidly become the must-attend occasion for our industry. This is evidenced by the quality of the speakers that the event attracts, such as Violeta Bulc, European Transport Commissioner, and Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group and Chair of the IATA Board of Governors. The Conference of World ATM Congress has become a key forum where industry leaders discuss their latest thinking on enhancing the safety and improving the efficiency of airspace. With the ATM industry facing significant change due to new technologies, new entrants to airspace, increasing competition, and continuing pressures from airlines and airports for improved performance and cost efficiency, this year's Conference is addressing how to create the right culture to adapt to these changes. World ATM Congress continues to lead the key debates on ATM, as well as being the place where companies demonstrate products and services; where contracts are signed; and where we all learn about the latest technologies and best practices. Everyone leaves Madrid having gained value and further inspiration on ATM."  

Íñigo de la Serna Hernáiz, Minister, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Spain, officially opened the Conference of World ATM Congress today. He said the Spanish government has been honoured to host the event for the past five years and is pleased that World ATM Congress is contracted to remain in Madrid through 2022. The minister said the government offers its full support for the ATM industry and its capacity to deliver economic benefits - particularly in Spain, a country that contributed most to the growth of air traffic in Europe in 2016. He followed by announcing that ENAIRE - the Spanish ANSP -  has proposed a cumulative fee reduction of 11.5 percent during 2018-2020 in its strategic plan - a decrease in en route fees that could save airlines approximately €184m and stimulate further air traffic growth. 

The Conference then examined how to create the right culture to adapt to and anticipate change as well as harnessing it to drive improved performance through innovation, collaboration, and embracing new concepts and technologies. On Wednesday, the Conference will discuss the opportunities for collaboration in the exchange of information and what considerations will be needed to manage the growth of UAS.   


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