World ATM Congress premiered today, with 4,567 active participants at IFEMA, Feria de Madrid in Madrid, Spain. Running a total of three days, the international air traffic and aviation event combines a Conference Programme with an Exhibition involving the industry's leading organisations.
Today saw one of the largest gatherings of aviation executives globally this year. Of the 4,567 - just under 400 were registered as Conference Delegates as of noon. More than 145 exhibiting organisations filled the Exhibit Hall where visitors networked and discussed the latest developments in air traffic.
Opening the Conference Programme, titled "Moving to a Transformed Global ATM System," were Ana María Pastor Julián, Spain's Minister of Public Works and Transport; Ignacio González Sánchez, Director Air Navigation, AENA; José Manuel Vargas, President, AENA; and the heads of World ATM Congress' host organisations: Jeff Poole, Director General of Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), and Peter F. Dumont, President and CEO of the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA).
Minister Pastor Julián, welcomed the first World ATM Congress to Madrid and stated that from this point on, the annual event would be seen as an important reference for the entire air traffic community. The Minister referenced Spain as an example of transformation where in spite of the world economic challenges, the country went from having one of the highest en route rates in Europe in 2008 to reducing the charges by 20 percent during the period 2009 to 2012. Roberto Kobeh González, President of the Council, ICAO, delivered a keynote following Minister Pastor Julián's presentation.
Throughout the week, Conference session coverage, information on the workshops and Presentation Theatres, and registration reports from the Congress will be available at www.worldatmcongress.org.
Organised for the industry, by the industry, World ATM Congress has prompted enthusiasm from multiple facets of the aviation including manufacturer/suppliers, military and government, air traffic controllers, and universities.