Outcome of the User Forum 2013
We listen to you!
This annual air traffic management (ATM) rendez-vous for the aviation community and operational people was centred on a question which leaves no-one unmoved: how can network performance, in today’s global economic context, be improved?
"This forum is yours. We are here to develop our mutual understanding of the constraints and objectives we have on both sides and to look for ways of enhancing our partnership", Jacques Dopagne, Director Network Management.
Contributions from Maurizio Castelletti, Head of the European Commission’s Single European Sky (SES) Unit, from Erik Moyson, Director Safety and Operations IACA and from Robert Tod, Director Safety, Operations & Infrastructure IATA, added substantial value to the debates as they underlined how important it is for the Network Manager to listen to its partners, identify with their expectations and understand their challenges.
In general, the 2013 edition of the User Forum raised much the same concerns as its predecessor in 2012, for the economical situation shows no sign of recovery yet.
Indeed, the airspace users pointed out that they are struggling even more with cost-efficiency issues this year.
The next User Forum will take place on 29 & 30 January 2014.
Focused on the Network Manager’s function, achievements since its nomination and future challenges in the context of SESAR deployment and the targets being prepared for Reference Period 2 (2015 - 2019).
Day two, operations and services day
Covered the status of network operations activities. It addressed all areas essential for exercising the NM functions:
- capacity issues,
- flight efficiency,
- integration of airports,
- evolution of the systems,
- and safety management.
In response to the feedback from 2012’s User Forum, NM operations experts talked about the developments introduced over the past year, showing how they fit into the strategic view of the ATM network function; they also reviewed the network operations performance.
A recurring theme in discussions was the crucial need to act together in order to achieve the requisite network performance targets for the future.
Participants learned how NM will help stakeholders meet these targets and how Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and industry will contribute.
It came as no surprise that the Q&A sessions echoed airspace users’ principal concerns on flight and cost-efficiency.
Everyone acknowledged the need to find a workable balance between the operational flexibility requested by the airlines and traffic predictability which is needed on a network level.
The User Forum featured interesting debates and a frank exchanges of views, all noted with interest by the EUROCONTROL managers.