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NEWS Last modified on January 20, 2015

CANSO outlines Middle East airspace proposal

The Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) has outlined its proposal to reduce congestion and improve efficiency in the increasingly busier Middle East airspace.

To meet the rapid growth of air traffic in the region, CANSO is proposing five key steps to transform air traffic management performance: effective partnership; harmonisation of airspace; separation of regulation and service provision; flexible use of military airspace; and effective and coordinated use of technology.

CANSO director general, Jeff Poole, says: "To meet the rapid growth in air traffic, the Middle East region needs safe, efficient and cost-effective air navigation services.

“At present, the region's airspace is fragmented, creating safety, efficiency and capacity challenges; it is saturated, with large parts out of bounds for civilian use; and it is uncoordinated at the regional level.

“The five steps CANSO is proposing today are essential if we are to provide the efficient air navigation services that airlines expect and that the air traffic management industry must deliver."

Poole adds: "While effective cooperation has been a problem in the past, there are grounds for some optimism. CANSO strongly supports and participates in the Middle East Airspace Enhancement Programme (MAEP), led by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

“MAEP aims to ensure that the planning and implementation of future ATM upgrades in the region are fully coordinated to provide an overall regional solution.

“In addition, the Middle East ANSP, Airspace User and Stakeholder Engagement (MEAUSE) initiative provides a forum where airspace users and stakeholders can engage in dialogue with ANSPs.

“But after years of talking and too little action, we must ensure that these initiatives result in firm decisions with measurable and timely deliverables."

Poole concludes that the Middle East is one of aviation's great success stories, and for this success to continue, it is vital to address the current constraints on air traffic management.

“The five steps we have outlined today are not easy but they can be achieved by partnership and cooperation across the region, between industry partners, and most importantly by states.

“All parts of the aviation industry in the region must grasp the opportunity for partnership offered by MAEP and MEAUSE to deliver real change to transform air traffic management performance and ensure the contribution of aviation to the economies of the region."

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