The Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) has reiterated the challenges facing the evolution to a global, seamless air traffic management (ATM) system, and called for greater incentives for airlines to adopt new technology and procedures.
“ATM is at present adversely affected by very fragmented airspace, which impacts on safety, efficiency, capacity and the environment,” says CANSO director general Jeff Poole.
“There are big differences in ATM maturity, technology, procedures, cultures, business models and regulatory frameworks across the regions and across air navigation services providers.”
Poole made the remarks at the IATA Ops conference in Kuala Lumpur.
CANSO has created a framework it calls ‘Vision 2020.’ Its goal is the improvement of ATM standards globally in the coming years. Poole feels the plan is achievable provided CANSO can get full buy-in from the aviation industry and governments.
He believes that regulators and governments should offer incentives to carriers, such as better flight level assignments, that adopt more modern navigation technologies and methods.
One area of focus that Poole singled out is performance-based navigation (PBN). PBN is a form of area navigation that can deliver three-dimensional airport approach and departure paths, usually employing satellite navigation system signals. The degree of accuracy is dependent on the capability and integrity of equipment on board the aircraft, and the quality of satellite signals and augmentation systems.
Poole notes that some “operating environments” are better suited to PBN than others. Challenges for wider PBN adoption include older aircraft fleets and insufficiently trained crews. He says carriers should be incentivised to upgrade their aircraft and crew training, with the promise of being assigned better flight levels by controllers. The regulatory environment can also inhibit PBN.
Poole adds that Asia Pacific's efforts to deploy automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) technology in the region are going well. CANSO believes that ADS-B can help reduce separation distances, thus allowing better use of air routes.
“In Asia Pacific the initial project involving ADS-B data sharing among the air navigation service providers of Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam on two trunk routes over the South China Sea was implemented successfully in December 2013,” he says.
“With the bridging of surveillance gaps by ADS-B, the next step is to increase airspace capacity on these routes by gradually reducing aircraft separation. We are also promoting ADS-B collaboration for routes over the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean.”