Airspace

Airspace is rapidly becoming the constraint to further growth. What should the region be doing to deliver the necessary capacity?

Hicham BennaniHicham Bennani, ACAC The region has a good safety record and achieved an improvement of about 10 per cent of EI from 2011 to 2014. No fatal accidents have been registered during 2012 and 2013 and the accident rate for the five previous years has decreased, despite the growth in air traffic. The UAE ranks as number one in terms of aviation safety standards; however, a big disparity persists between other States. Three States are above the 60 per cent EI and two others have not been audited in terms of CMA activities. The political crisis also has the potential to impact safety in the region. It is highly recommended to establish a regional entity to share know how, best practices, procedures, guidelines and particularly the safety culture. The ACAC – ICAO RSOO project could be the right response.

Peter Mohring, SERCO Whilst there is a growing safety maturity within individual States from both a regulatory and operational perspective, to my knowledge there is no common performance or maturity framework in place across the ME. Local regulators and ANSPs possess varying degrees of maturity and capability. Sharing of safety data and incident learning outcomes locally and regionally would go a long way to improving safety awareness and identifying trends in safety performance.

Mohamed KhonjiMohamed Khonji, ICAO ICAO’s Global Aviation Safety Plan includes a number of objectives which all ICAO Regions are working toward. ICAO has begun sharing data more extensively with sector partners such as IATA and others, and this has helped us to identify priority accident types and collaborative programmes and tools to address them. Currently this work is focused upon runway-related incidents, controlled flights into terrain (CFIT) and accidents resulting from loss of control inflight (LOCI). Globally these efforts have seen some clear results, with runway-related fatalities having decreased from 179 in 2010 to just one in 2014, the CFIT fatality rate dropping by almost 85 per cent during the same period, and the number of LOCI accidents being cut in half.
ICAO will soon be implementing a global flight tracking requirement whereby all airlines  will  have to ensure continuous awareness of their aircraft  location within a defined four dimensional window, at intervals not exceeding 15 minutes, either through an ANSP provided service or their own 4D/15 Tracking. This will become applicable at the end of 2016, with further tracking enhancements for new aircraft coming online in 2021.
A further development has been the conflict zone portal which ICAO is providing for States, to improve how they share conflict zone risk information.

Mohammed Ali Ahmed, BCAA Centralised data collection and transparent sharing of information among users, service providers, and States would improve safety performance. The value of doing this is already proven elsewhere, and is something we need to do in this region too.

Jeff PooleJeff Poole, CANSO The ICAO Aviation System Block Upgrades or ASBUs are a particularly important catalyst for transforming ATM performance, enabling States to modernise their air navigation infrastructure at an appropriate pace. We are also working with partners to develop a coherent, coordinated, regional strategic plan for efficient airspace management, the Middle East Airspace Enhancement Plan (MAEP).

We want to ensure that the future ATM systems will be able to meet the needs of this growing market. I see five key steps to making this happen: bringing partners together for coordinated action; striving to achieve seamless airspace; separating regulation and service provision to improve the performance of ANSPs; freeing up military airspace; and harnessing the latest technology to improve airspace efficiency.

Philippe Merlo, Eurocontrol In terms of safety, a possible avenue is in the continuation or strengthening of good safety practices in operations and safety management. This includes training of staff as well as managerial pro-activeness. Here again, good practices of areas with higher levels of traffic can assist, in particular as they may allow a more direct and rapid achievement of the right safety environment.

Mohammed Ali Ahmed BCAAAbdul Wahab Teffaha, AACO Safety has always been the number one priority for aviation. Stakeholders continuously invest in processes, systems and expertise to enhance the safety of their operations. Developments include the expanding implementation of SMS and promotion of safety culture. The focus on safety is fuelled by data exchange mechanisms between stakeholders and the collaboration among regional stakeholders through ICAO RASGs. However, this region requires additional attention to the oversight side of safety: the implementation of State Safety Programmes will lead to harmonising and streamlining SMS implementation across all aviation sectors (i.e. airlines, airports, ANSPs, maintenance organisations, ground handlers, etc…), which will contribute to enhancing the safety record of the region.
The adoption of SMS and safety culture is also important on the ANSP side. It is equally important that ANSPs look ahead with regard to personnel capacity and training requirements of the region based on the expected growth. On the other hand, the development in ATM and airspace capacity will lead to reducing delays and overhead in delivering air traffic services, hence further enhancing safety in the region.

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