Committee to work on four priority areas to make air traffic more seamless and sustainable

The Asia Pacific region is stepping up cooperation in the provision of air navigation services to support recovery, meet growing demand and make air travel more seamless and sustainable. The Asia and Pacific (APAC) Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) Committee has been set up to enhance collaboration amongst all 43 air navigation service providers in the region. This is the first of such committees in the world. The Committee, which also involves the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), held its first meeting on 17 – 18 April 2023 at the ICAO Asia and Pacific Office in Bangkok.

At its inaugural meeting, Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) was elected Chairperson of the new Committee. Mr Nopasit Chakpitak, President, AEROTHAI, Mr Miao Xuan, Deputy Director-General, Air Traffic Management Bureau (ATMB) of Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC), Mr Marc Houalla, Director, French Polynesia Civil Aviation Services and Mr Soh Poh Theen, Director, CANSO APAC, were elected as Vice Chairpersons. 2

With the Asia Pacific region seeing strong growth in air traffic, the setting up of the APAC ANSP Committee is timely. The Committee agreed that ANSPs in the diverse region of Asia Pacific have to work more closely together and leverage technology to improve the provision of air navigation services to make air travel more seamless, affordable and sustainable across the region. This will support the strong growth in air traffic in the Asia Pacific region.

In this regard, the Committee agreed on four priority areas of work which it will work on and report to the Directors-General of Civil Aviation in October 2023. These include stepping up and coordinating investments in capacity and capabilities, making air traffic more seamless and sustainable, minimising disruptions to air travel during service failures and supporting oceanic air navigation service providers, as detailed below:

  1. Step up investments in air navigation services capacity and capabilities to support the anticipated growth in air traffic and facilitate the sharing of requirements and best practices in the procurement of air navigation service systems to better manage cost and ensure value for money. Under this priority area, the Committee will also develop a framework for technology collaboration and facilitate capacity building and technical assistance. This will particularly benefit the smaller air navigation service providers in the region.
  2. Accelerate the development and implementation of seamless air traffic management, including through the exchange of real-time flight, aeronautical and meteorological data to optimise traffic flow across airspaces. The Committee will also collaborate on sustainability initiatives, together with other stakeholders such as airlines, to enhance flight and air traffic management predictability and efficiency and develop and deploy fuel-saving techniques.
  3. Collaborate on business continuity and contingency planning to anticipate and respond effectively to disruptions in air traffic operations, which can and do occur from time to time due to for instance, system failures, airspace closures, industrial actions and natural disasters. Areas of collaboration include training, information sharing and conducting joint exercises to test readiness and refine procedures.
  4. Support the operations of oceanic ANSPs which may have needs that are different from those of non-oceanic ANSPs. The Committee will collaborate on initiatives most relevant to the oceanic region, which include sustainability, systems inter-operability and contingency planning.

Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General of CAAS and Chairperson of the APAC ANSP Committee said, “The setting up of this Committee, which brings together all air navigation service providers in the Asia-Pacific region, is timely and necessary. Air navigation services is a critical component of aviation. As countries step up investments on the ground, we need to make matching investments in the skies to be able to meet the rising demand for air travel. The strong support for the Committee’s work is firm recognition that as aviation is cross-border, we can only soar by working together.”