ATC Global 2016 The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is working to develop global standards for system wide information management (SWIM) governance standards and architectural performance by 2018, said ICAO secretary general Dr Liu Fang in a keynote opening address to the conference at ATC Global.
It is one of several air traffic management global initiatives currently being pursued by ICAO as part of its “No Country Left Behind” initiative. The organisation is also working on a cyber management programme, as part of the cyber security roadmap developed by industry and States, pushing for the early deployment of a 15-minute aircraft tracking service and looking at ways to minimise separate financial arrangements between aircraft operators and air navigation service providers (ANSPs).
There are further ICAO programmes underway to ensure next generation technologies can be deployed seamlessly throughout the world,
“There needs to be a clear distinction between the regulator and the ANSP function but the present regime can also be enhanced through quality assurance – ICAO is now looking at ways in which ANSPs can implement ICAO standards.” This will mean sharing expertise and best practice. So, the framework for improving quality of services in the African and Indian regions could become adapted for other regions, according to Dr Fang.
Global interoperability, she said, will depend on developing more consensus solutions and sharing of best practices.
“ATM should not be a closed secretive world,” according to Frank Brenner, director general of Eurocontrol, the answer is performance benchmarking and management. The agency has an agreement with the Civil Aviation University of China, looking at airport punctuality and throughput, comparing performance of Chinese and European airports. The programme is part of the ICAO objective of creating a global interoperable system and ICAO has identified in document 9883 11 key performance areas where ANSP performance can be measured and compared.
Marco De Sciscio, of the European Commission’s DG Mobility and Transport, spoke of the importance of defragmentation of ATM systems as part of the solution to providing an integrated regional ATM system. This has to work at a number of levels, including the legal framework, performance objectives, governance and the development of partnerships.
According to Li Wenzin, director, safety and flight operations the global airline network now comprises 51,000 routes. For the first time in history, he said, airlines have made a normal level of profitability; in 2015 the industry generated $718 billion and made $35 billion in profits. “We would like airlines to be part of a collaborative effort to obtain advantage of our capabilities to mutual benefit, a seamless service across borders to airlines and investment in systems or tools that deliver cost effective benefits.”
OECD figures predict the global middle class will grow from 2 billion people today to 5 billion by 2030, according to Michael Standar, chief of strategy and international relations at the SESAR JU. Among all the many requirements of an ATM system which will be able to cope with the growth in air traffic perhaps one of the more important is predictability. “In the future the question will be how do we actually get the operational, company and state data we will need,” he said.
Airports and ANSPs have not made the efficiency improvements that airlines have over recent years, according to Andrew Herdman Director General of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, and we need to coordinate long term investment, he said. Asia faces a number of ATM challenges, among which is the need to develop a regional flow management system without a centralised flow manager, as exists in the USA and Europe. A number of states, including China, agreed to a seamless ATM plan in 2013 but progress towards this and a regional ATFM system has been very slow, partly as a result of the mixed capability among nations.
This inconsistency has run across a number of areas – in the implementation of ICAO safety standards, for example, there are currently around 20 states in the region yet to reach the 59% benchmark for implementation of ICAO safety standards and ICAO has set a target date of 2017 for all these states to reach this benchmark. Aviation system block upgrades (ASBU) implementation is also inconsistent throughout the region, with 16 States behind schedule and with overall progress slower than expected.