ATM Modernization

Global Interoperability Focus of World ATM Conference Session

By S.L. Fuller | March 13, 2017

East Asia viewed from space with connections representing main air traffic routes. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

East Asia viewed from space with connections representing main air traffic routes. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

SESAR’s “Towards global interoperability” session during the World ATM Conference in Spain discussed joint efforts in Single European Sky (SES), ATM Masterplan and developments in the U.S. and International Civil Aviation Org. (ICAO).

SESAR noted these highlights from various participants:

“European aviation faces many challenges, and global interoperability is high on the list alongside drones, regional fragmentation, demographic change, the environment …,” - European Commission’s Henrik Hololei, keynote speaker

“We have a collective responsibility to make sure aviation systems work.” - SESAR Joint Undertaking’s Florian Guillermet

“There are things that we can all do locally and regionally to ensure seamless boundaries and interoperable systems.” - FAA’s Teri Bristol

“ATM interoperability is not easy to master, so we have to pull together in key technical and operational fields like navigation which are all interconnected.” - Eurocontrol’s Philippe Merlo

Other speakers agreed that collaboration is needed, especially regarding standards and certification of common technology. ICAO’s Richard Macfarlane revealed that the organization plans to revamp its six-year-old Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP) in the effort to make sure all nations are on the same page and none get left behind. As for cybersecurity, Macfarlane said it's on ICAO’s radar, and a summit is planned to address related concerns.

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