World ATM Congress 2019 Conference Programme

Initial Conference Programme as of 29.11.18 - Check back often for updates

'Tackling the Big Issues in
ATM – Capacity, UTM Integration, People'

World ATM Congress, 12-14 March 2019
Conference Theatre, IFEMA, Feria de Madrid

These are exciting times in air traffic management (ATM), driven not least by the continuing growth in air traffic, implementation of new technologies, and the evolution of various new airspace users. There have been some very significant improvements in ATM performance in recent times, yet the challenges keep growing and the pace of change continues to increase. The sense of excitement and anticipation will be prevalent at the World ATM Congress 2019 when the entire ATM industry reunites at its annual hub for business, networking, and discussions.

The scope for the World ATM Congress 2019 Conference was therefore potentially very wide. However, our consultations on possible themes, topics, and speakers revealed a strong desire for the Conference to address the big issues in ATM of capacity, UTM integration, and People –so that is what we are delivering, but with some new approaches and new faces.

We hope that you will find that these very different sessions on subjects of your preference to be enlightening, topically interesting, and full of relevance and information for you to take with you.

Download Schedule PDF

Tuesday, 12 March
9.15 – 9.50

Opening Remarks

9.50 – 10.40

Session One: The Big Picture – Keynote Speakers
Dialogue: US-Europe Relations in ATM and Impact on Global ATM

10.40 – 11.10

Networking Break (Conference Lunch Area)

11.10 – 12.30

Session Two: Drones, UTM, and U-Space
Part 1: Thought-Piece: Prioritising Humanitarian Needs

Managing Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) programs that aim to integrate existing and new unmanned aerial solutions into public health government systems to help alleviate some of the most complex challenges in development and humanitarian aid: routine deliveries, medical aid, disease outbreak / epidemics management, and natural disaster response.

Part 2: Panel: The Voice of UTM

The use of drones and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) is undoubtedly one of the most significant technical, operational, and social developments in the world, not just aviation. There are already numerous projects and initiatives to develop UTM (traffic management for drones/UAS) and U-Space (to enable complex operations for large numbers of drones with a high degree of automation in all types of operational environments, including urban areas).

Perhaps the most critical success factor will be the ability to allow drones/UAS to operate safely in controlled, integrated airspace along with manned aircraft. That in turn requires a new digital infrastructure and associated concepts of operations and rules that will ensure safe, harmonised, and seamless operations for all users of airspace at any level.

It is the fastest evolving aspect of airspace – but what are the critical views from those most involved in UTM today? This moderated panel will address three key issues: the status of UTM today; the vision for tomorrow and the key challenges to get there; and, from the perspective of UTM, what does all this mean for ATM?

12.30 Conference Lunch (Conference Lunch Area) and World ATM Congress Exhibition


Wednesday, 13 March
9.15 – 9.30 Special Guest Speaker
9.30 – 10.30

Session Three: Investing in People as Critical Enablers – Diversity and Millennials in ATM

Human resources in ATM have never been at such a critical point. As ATM capacity struggles to keep pace with the growth in air traffic, the requirement for skilled and trained people at all levels is self-evident. Women represent only a small proportion of the ATM workforce, and ATM no longer seem to be so attractive to young people – the ‘millennial’ generation. With time, technological advances, in particular automation and artificial intelligence (AI), will help to close the resource gap and will also change fundamentally the roles of humans in ATM. 

This session will look at two aspects: how to increase the number and importance of women in ATM and how to attract the millennial and post-millennial generations. What must be the new USP (Unique Selling Point) of ATM to diversify its human resources in order to meet the requirements of tomorrow?

Part 1: Soaring Through the Glass Ceiling

Women have made great strides in many professional fields and industries, but, as with aviation generally, the numbers of women in ATM remain low, with an even smaller percentage in leadership roles. More can and should be done to enable the advancement of women into important roles in ATM, not just as a matter of principle but because it will support the growth and sustainability of the industry. How should we “change attitudes to gain altitude”?

Leading aviation industry associations (Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), Airlines for America (A4A), Airports Council International (ACI), Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA) and Korn Ferry – Civil Aviation Practice (NYSE:KFY)) have launched through Korn Ferry a global study "Soaring Through the Glass Ceiling" to identify and promote means by which the aviation and aerospace industry can more effectively recruit and advance women into leadership roles. The study is scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2019, but this session will provide and discuss some early indications of the issues arising for ATM.

Part 2: The Voice of the Millennials

The need to attract young people into industry is not unique to ATM or even aviation. A number of initiatives have been launched to encourage Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) professionals, including the ICAO ‘Next Generation of Aviation Professionals (NGAP)’. Yet there remains a sense that this is nowhere near enough.

In this quick-fire session, two young professionals in ATM will provide an illuminating insight into why they and their peers chose ATM, what have been there experiences to date – and, most importantly, what must change if they are to remain and they are to be followed by others.

10.30 – 11.00 
Networking Break (Conference Lunch Area)
11.00 – 12.30

Session Four: The Big Crunch – Hard Talk on ATM Capacity

Prompt and decisive actions are needed now if ATM and aviation are to fulfil high expectations. Growing ATM capacity at the right pace has always been a challenge given the long-term planning required for ATM infrastructure investments and training of skilled staff compared to fluctuating economics and changes in traffic forecasts, as well as the cost constraints imposed by airlines and regulators. This surfaced dramatically in terms of delays in European ATM in the summer of 2018 with the threat of even worse to come in 2019. But ATM capacity issues are common to all regions of the world and are forecast to become even more challenging as all face significant traffic growth.

Some key questions the panel will discuss include:
• What are the lessons learned to date?
• What are the key ATM capacity issues in other regions?
• What scope is there for ANSPs to become more agile and flexible in capacity provision?
• What is needed for airlines, ANSPs, airports, and regulators to work effectively together with consistent business plans based on agreed views of likely future developments and requirements, including rolling forecasts of traffic and required capacity?
• How will new technologies and new ATM processes and procedures help to achieve better alignment of capacity and traffic?
• Are there some obvious ‘quick wins’?
• What can airlines do better in terms of self-help and predictability?

12.30 Conference Lunch (Conference Lunch Area) and World ATM Congress Exhibition


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