CANSO Middle East - 'the reawakening'!

Written by: Alan Corner
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Not the title of some B rate movie, rather the outcome of the CANSO Middle East Steering Committee held in Dubai this week. The main talking point was CANSO's proposed new Middle East strategy, which more clearly defines CANSO's role and sets out how it can better meet the needs of its members in the region. The strategy, drafted by Helios, builds on CANSO's global Vision 2020 and a number of workshops held with regional members. It focuses on the members' key priorities, including airspace efficiency, safety, regulatory and institutional reform and the introduction of performance management.

It has never been more important for ANSPs to have a platform on which they can work together and share knowledge, both within the region and globally. Most of the ANSPs in the Middle East are State owned and, whilst represented at the State level in ICAO MID, there is no other platform that allows ATM experts to come together and to engage other stakeholders such as airports and airlines. Recent developments, such as the closure of airspace to overflights in Iraq, have demonstrated why this is important. Significant work was undertaken by the affected ANSPs and airlines to reroute traffic and, according to Emirates Airlines, there is much that the rest of the world could potentially learn from their dynamic actions. Praise indeed.

The strategy and associated work plan also supports the establishment of a new working group, to ensure that members' interests are properly represented by CANSO in the Middle East ATM Enhancement Programme (MAEP) and the recent establishment of a new regional Safety Working Group. It also reinforces the need for members to engage in CANSO's global activities, including the important work of the standing committees and, of course, initiatives such as ANSP global benchmarking.

Once the strategy is endorsed – expected to happen in November – that will be the alarm call for all members to 'wake up' and help to implement the strategy. Like all member organisations, the more you put in, the more you get out.

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Alan Corner
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