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Regional Updates

Asia Pacific

Expansion of User Preferred routes in Asia Pacific

Two years ago IATA proposed the establishment of a User Preferred routing (UPR) area across the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. IATA will be assisting the facilitation of this trial which initially includes eight States and eight airlines. At first the trial is limited to a small number of agreed flights. The number of flights will be expanded as the States involved gain confidence in their ability to provide effective separation services in a largely procedural control area. The chart below depicts the area and the tracks which will benefit.

This initiative will provide benefits to our member airlines in Middle East, Australia, South Asia and Africa by virtue of reduction in fuel burn and flying time. Establishment of UPR Zone in ASIO region has the potential to generate savings of 500 Tones Co2 emission savings per flight.


The expansion of UPR into low density oceanic airspace augments UPR areas already established in the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea.


Across the remainder of Asia Pacific the focus is on increasing capacity in busy air routes and working with key airports to improve their traffic acceptance and handling rates. In the short term we have selected key routes where big benefits are possible - South China Sea for example. IATA is working effectively with the States involved where there is a mix of capability and technology which will enable more beneficial route structures.

In the longer term the focus is on "seamless ATM" across Asia Pacific – standardized Regulation, harmonized procedures and interoperability, ground/ground and air/ground, which will make better use of the current, and future, aircraft avionics. Whilst ICAO and all of the 40 States in Asia Pacific have agreed to the development of "seamless ATM" across the Region it is clearly a longer term project built around the implementation of ICAO Aviation Systems Block Upgrades (ASBU) which provides the linkage to NEXTGEN and SESAR and global harmonization.

Airport bottlenecks

Whilst air traffic demand fluctuates with the changing economic environment there is little doubt that Asia Pacific will need to improve infrastructure to meet the ever increasing demand. Across the Region we see new airports being planned but insufficient attention paid to making the best use of existing airports. Generally the failure to fully utilize the capacity is a result of inefficient air traffic control which is sometimes not clear to the Airport itself.

Over the last few months IATA has been working with a number of airports to improve their operational performance which, at best can delay the need for a new airport or at least ensure demand can be handled during the build and transition to a new facility.

A common issue at many airports is the lack of effective communication between the air navigation provider and the airport. To fill this void IATA convenes Operational Safety and Capacity Enhancement Teams (OSCET) which have operated successfully at Mumbai and Delhi for the last three years. At these locations we have seen big improvements in traffic handling and the functioning of the airport infrastructure, in conjunction with development programs.

This year our focus has turned to Indonesia and The Republic of Philippines to make similar improvements. The cooperation of both States has been excellent as it has enabled us to deploy the improvement teams and also to facility training sessions across a number of areas. Safety Management System implementation, slot management, air traffic flow management and strategies to improve runway utilization.

Manila and Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International airport are characteristic of many airports in rapidly expanding markets with the latter having a design capacity of 22 million passenger per year but now handing over 50 million passenger per year.

New RNAV 5 ATS Routes Connecting Delhi to Mumbai/Ahmedabab/Udaipur/Vadodra

For several years IATA has been working with Indian Authority’s on the implementation of Performance Based Navigation across the Sub Continent. A number of procedures which provide significant benefits have already been implemented and on 26 July 2012 India will introduce new RNAV5 routes connecting Delhi with other Indian cities. . Area navigation permits aircraft operations on any desired track within a prescribed area within the capability limits of the aircraft. Whilst we expect airlines will be some benefit immediately this procedure improves the airspace capacity to enable the future demand to be absorbed without ever increasing delays being experience

Initial estimates indicate that these PBN routes have the potential to save 2200 tonnes of CO2 savings per year.

IATA In-Flight Broadcast Procedure (IFBP) for Myanmar:  Results of Communications Survey

Numerous reports indicate that Myanmar’s communications, both fixed and mobile are operating below required reliability. This has an impact on the proper provision of Air Traffic Services. Consequently, the Asia Pacific Regional Coordination Group (RCG) decided that the IATA In-Flight Broadcast Procedure should be used within the Yangon FIR until communications facilities have been improved to a satisfactory level. This requirement has been in place since 27 November 2003, requiring aircraft to maintain a listening watch and make broadcasts before entering and until leaving the designated airspace.

North Asia

Airspace structure optimize plan was implemented in 4 airport

At the suggestion of IATA, Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) optimized and adjusted the Standard Terminal Arrival Route and Standard Instrument Departures (STARs and SIDs) at Xi’an, Changsha and Wenzhou airports on 3 May 2012, as well as Zhengzhou Airport on 31 May 2012.

The new STARs/SIDs could help to increase capacity of this region and routes, resulting in fuel savings and cost reduction. For every one minute saved per flight, the annual fuel savings of these four airports is 19,734,000kg and the CO2 emission reduction is 62,162,000kg.


African Safety Summit

The 2012 African Safety Summit was held in Johannesburg on 14-16 May. IATA, together with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and key African stakeholder including, the African Airlines Association (AFRAA), etc. committed to a five-step Africa Strategic Improvement Action Plan to address safety deficiencies and strengthen regulatory oversight in the region by 2015.

The five steps of the Africa Strategic Improvement Action Plan are:

1. Adoption and implementation of an effective and transparent regulatory oversight system
2. Implementation of runway safety measures
3. Training on preventing loss of control
4. Implementation of flight data analysis (FDA)
5. Implementation of Safety Management Systems (SMS)

The Action Plan will be submitted for endorsement by the African Union Ministerial Meeting on Aviation Safety planned for July 2012, where specific performance targets for improvement are expected to be endorsed.  The funding of the proposed Action Plan will be shared according to the functions and responsibilities of the entities involved in each initiative.

iFLEX II to São Paolo and Rio de Janeiro

iFLEX is built on procedures envisaged under ICAO strategic objective which supports the concept of dynamic and flexible routes.

In September 2011, IATA reported successful trials of iFLEX I by Delta Air Lines after which additional crossing points on EUROSAM corridor became available to operators.

iFLEX Phase II was established to enhance access to the Atlantic Ocean Random Routing Area (AORRA) and provide user preferred trajectories connecting to South America, by implementing additional RNP10/RNAV5 routes over continental AFI and MID airspace.

To date 25 routes / segments have been implemented. The main challenge remains implementation of route segments which stalled due to the “No-fly” zone over Libya, restricted airspace in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and UAE, as well as Asmara-Ethiopia political issues. The IATA MENA Office is working on a phased implementation subject to an easing of political tensions.

Based on an Airline data for the month of April 2012 for flights to South America, approximately 0.5 million tonnes of CO2 savings were realized for flights from Dubai and Doha to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. 

Middle East and North Africa

Safety Events

The first event was the MID Regional Runway Safety Seminar (RRSS-MID) which was held in partnership with ICAO, in Amman, 14-16 May 2012 with the objective of promoting the establishment and enhancement of airport-specific, multidisciplinary Runway Safety Teams (RSTs) in an effort to improve runway safety outcomes.

The conference brought together aviation experts from industry, airlines, airports, regulators, air navigation service providers, and organizations for two days of intense discussions on topics including runway incursions and excursions, mitigation options, and how to make an RTS work.

The main conclusion from this seminar was agreement on a framework for the establishment of RSTs, under the governance of the Regional Aviation Safety Group (RASG).

Furthermore, the IATA MENA Office held its Safety & Security Forum at the Intercontinental Hotel, in Bahrain, on 21-22 May, hosted by the Bahrain Civil Aviation Affairs (BCAA).

The Safety & Security forum highlights included keynote addresses by Mr. Ahmed Nemat Ali, the Assistant Undersecretary for Aviation Services at Bahrain Civil Aviation Affairs and Dr. Majdi Sabri, IATA’s MENA RVP.

This Forum aimed at providing stakeholders with a platform for engagement and discussion to address standardization of regulatory requirements and provide the tool to achieve harmonization in safety and security standards. Conclusions derived from the various sessions included taking a more result oriented approach and aim for harmonization of requirements: working on mutual recognition of standards and requirements; the need for the establishment of a regional security group to address security requirements and initiatives on a regional basis; taking advantage of available tools and initiatives such as One Stop Security, IOSA, and ISAGO; the need for security training especially to handle Unruly Passengers situations; and the need to communicate and promote safety culture and non-punitive reporting.


Single European Sky

The Single European Sky (SES) is a European initiative setting the framework to meet future safety, capacity and efficiency requirements in European aviation.  It is intended to defragment and modernize the European Air Traffic Management to deliver improvements (performance goals) in safety, capacity, environment and cost efficiency, by means of a set of five pillars including technology, legislative, safety, airports and human factors.

Each of these pillars involves a set of institutions and programs that require clear direction and synchronization:


The original targets set for 2020 aims at a tenfold safety improvement, a threefold capacity increase, a ten per cent reduction in CO2 emissions and a 50 per cent increase in cost-efficiency compared to 2005 levels. However, these targets are no longer achievable as the SESAR technology program represents a €8bn investment risk to airlines with the Master Plan being critically flawed, delaying the delivery date of the high-level goals to at least 2033.

Status and Constraints

The Functional Airspace Blocks, which represent a fundamental aspect of the structural reform to defragment European ATM costing airlines €4bn per annum, are failing to deliver the targeted optimization of airspace, human and technical resources.
The network Manager has progressed reasonably during its first 12 months, but there is ANSP resistance to this capability and intend for each FAB to produce its own Network Management function.
The Performance Scheme has been a large disappointment with an estimated €187m cost in 2014 to airlines. States are falling short in meeting the targets due to a lack of Air Navigation Service Provision buy-in. Therefore, the European Commission needs to put more pressure on the states.
The safety pillar is evolving through EASA but the performance to-date has not been as needed and we see this as a key risk in the extension of its role.
The airport pillar does not show much development at this stage, as does the social aspects of structural reform that underpin all of these activities – due to the avoidance of meaningful reform by ANSPs and other institutions.


As these necessary components of the SES are not delivered to achieve the benefits on which SES was sold to airlines, urgent action is needed to resolve the following developments:

  • Revision of the high-level goals to delay the delivery of benefits to airlines from 2020 to at least 2033
  • The SES Governance does not adequately acknowledge the role of airlines as the prime investor but instead focusses upon state and ANSP positions
  • Key structural reforms such as FABs are not being properly progressed due to State/ ANSP self-interest.

Therefore, a SES III legislative package will be required to achieve real enhancements in driving efficiency improvement for ATM in Europe.
We must not accept the EC proposal to wait until traffic levels double as proposed in the Master Plan, but rather define goals that combine traffic growth with a timeframe that ensures phased investments, while key dates are set to deliver benefits which are tied to the investments.

The current SES governance structure is designed to meet European Commission regulatory needs – not the needs of airlines and airspace users.  To be truly influential, the airlines need to be able to steer investments, approve business cases and have the necessary voting rights to ensure mal-investments in technology are avoided.  Any future governance arrangements must acknowledge that airlines are the prime investor in the system.

The ATM infrastructure supply chain is not aligned to customer needs, but rather state needs.  We cannot expect a better performing and more synchronized supply chain if we keep the present structures. The solution must involve the devolution of responsibility of ANSPs – the component parts must be opened to reasonable competition in a way that encourages a pan-Europe approach – rather than one based upon state sovereignty. The intent is to increase competition, decrease fragmentation, improve service quality, reduce cost, deliver on environment and ensure safety.

The end of 2012 will see the culmination of a range of SES activities including evidence of the definitive failure of FABs and the failure of the Performance Scheme.  And whilst we will push for infringements proceedings, it also represents a strong catalyst for further “top-down” reforms. By ensuring that airlines are well prepared with a robust but reasonable reform package by the summer, we will be positioned to work with the EC on what we need for a SES III. Given European Parliamentary process the EC must have the package to present in early 2013.  
Therefore, 2012 is the year to make or break for SES.

Latin America and the Caribbean

ISAGO in Brazil

In an effort to increase awareness and seek airline support and state endorsement of ISAGO, IATA held training and workshop events in Sao Paulo that attracted a combined 48 attendees from airlines, aviation authorities and ground handlers.

Performance Based Navigation

IATA held a roundtable meeting with CANSO and the Latin America and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) to discuss regional Air Traffic Management challenges and agree on an implementation plan to fast track PBN implementation and airspace improvements.

North Atlantic and North America

New Standard Instrument Departure (SID) in Los Angeles

The ZILLI 1 RNAV SID was implemented at LAX. This new SID provides a higher initial climb altitude for departures from runways 24/25 to the south, allowing departures to climb to en-route cruise altitudes three minutes after departure.

NAV CANADA extends

NAV CANADA has extended its surveillance to cover a 1.3 million sq. km. portion of airspace over the North Atlantic. ADS-B in northeastern Canada is estimated to save air carriers $91M in fuel costs and result in a reduction of 239,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions from now to 2020. Currently there are over 1,000 aircraft from 30 airlines that are equipped and certified in Canada.


Additional information

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