As we approach the 18th CANSO AGM in Dublin later this month, I was reminded of my first CANSO AGM in 2008.
The 12th CANSO AGM in Madeira six years ago was a significant milestone for CANSO and for me personally as it marked the official creation of the CANSO Asia-Pacific Region. Since then significant progress has been made to grow the membership and enhance its work programme. Today the Asia-Pacific CANSO CEO Committee (APC3) has grown from four to sixteen members, a four-fold increase.
On 1 July, the day after the 18th AGM, APC3 will be having its regional meeting in Dublin. At that meeting we will be welcoming Vietnam ATM Corporation (VATM) as our 17th and newest APC3 Member.
I had the pleasure of meeting the Chairman of VATM, Mr Hoang Thanh, at last month’s CANSO Asia Pacific Conference in Colombo. For the coming APC3 meeting in Dublin, I am looking forward to welcoming the Director General of VATM, Mr Do Quang Viet, and his staff. Mr Do Quang Viet is not a stranger to CANSO having been a speaker at the CANSO Asia-Pacific Conference in Singapore in 2009 when he was the Deputy Director General of VATM.
As the ANSP of Vietnam, VATM provides air navigation services for Hanoi FIR and Ho Chi Minh FIR covering over a million square kilometres of airspace, 60 air routes and 21 airports. In 2009, VATM won the prestigious IATA Eagle Award for the most improved ANSP. Needless to say, this is possible only if an ANSP has made great strides in raising the quality of its services. Winning such an award from its customers is a rare accolade for any ANSP and indeed the best recognition of VATM’s efforts.
Despite significant challenges especially in the initial years, APC3 has evolved and matured rapidly with the creation of regional workgroups and annual regional ATM conferences and workshops. Today the CANSO Asia-Pacific Conference is a premier ATM event in the region that sees a strong turn-out of CEOs and ANSP senior management every year while the APAC Safety and Ops Workgroups which were set up barely two years ago have become active platforms for collaboration and the sharing of best practices.
The 18th AGM in Dublin marks 6 years of solid progress for the region but this is only the beginning. Much more can be achieved if we continue to work together to deliver the region’s strategic initiatives under CANSO Vision 2020.