The Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) Company was one of the more than 100 countries that took part at the inaugural World Air Traffic Management Congress, and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) Global Air Traffic Management Operations Conference in Madrid, Spain, that ended on 15 February 2013.

These events started on 10 February 2013 with the CANSO CEO Conference.

There were 150 exhibitors representing more than 80 countries and by 12 February 2013 4,760 registrants from across the globe had already started attending and vigorously participating in various sessions, which included discussions on "bridging the gap between policy, industry and academia" and "towards a transformed ATM environment", to name but a few.

The World ATM Congress provides a unique platform for discussing the future of air traffic management. It brings together the world’s foremost aviation leaders to share insights, views and expertise on priority issues and challenges facing the industry.

ATNS showcased its advanced high technology product at the event, called the Central Aeronautical Database (CAD) System, which is a solution similar to the European Aeronautical Information System (AIS) Database, also known as EAD. The EAD system is currently used by Eurocontrol and the European ATM Community.

The CAD will ensure that Africa aligns itself with global initiatives and technologies.

Some of the notable visitors to the ATNS exhibition stand included the Spanish Minister of Public Works, Ana Maria Pastor Julian and the United States Deputy Secretary of Transportation, John D. Porcari.

"The key to transformed air traffic management is "to think globally and act nationally", said Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez, President of the Council: International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) during his Tuesday, 12th February 2013 key note address, at the World ATM Congress.

Industry experts discussed depoliticed and corporatised global Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs). New technologies and procedures give the ability to manage air traffic from any locations, which means political borders should be irrelevant, said Robert Poole, Director of Transportation Studies, Reason and Foundation.

At the CANSO Global Operations Conference, Josia Manyakoana, ATNS Senior Manager: Operations (South) – who was recently appointed Co-Chairman of the CANSO Operational Performance Workgroup (OPWG) – provided feedback on "celebrating the CANSO OPWG’s success" and the work program for 2013.

Formed in 2011, the OPWG is charged with the development of ATM Capacity metrics to guide CANSO members on best practices in this regard. Its primary objective is to develop and refine guidelines for measuring the quality of service as well as collecting operational data for the purpose of benchmarking operational performance and quality of service amongst participating ANSPs.

"The OPWG recently conducted a Performance Workshop at the Latin American/ Caribbean Conference in Argentina, in which the region discussed operational performance measures currently implemented within the region. It also made a submission to the October 2012 Twelfth Air Navigation Conference held in Montreal, Canada in which recommendations were made to improve ICAO documents relating to Performance Measurement", said Mr. Manyakoana.

He further said that "Planned OPWG work during 2013 includes engaging the industry and broadening participation in the Workgroup, holding meetings and workshops as well as consultation forums to understand regional practices. It is expected that the final document, "Guidelines for measuring Operational Performance" will be published by end of December 2013".

Mr Manyakoana concluded by mentioning that "CANSO and IATA are expected to debate and finalise service priority principle as a means to support operators who made early investment in improved technology supporting Performance Based Navigation (PBN)". A process is underway to put together a PBN vision and strategy in order to support member states in its roll out to streamline efforts in this regard.