Academia vital to CATS roadmap

An education session on CANSO’s Complete Air Traffic System (CATS) revealed the work being done to make the seamless skies vision a reality.

Simon Hocquard, Director General of CANSO and Chair of the CATS Global Council, set the scene by asking how the industry can achieve a fully scalable, sustainable and resilient airspace system while safely integrating the ever-growing variety of new airspace users.

Managing the growth in commercial passenger traffic and the diverse performance profiles of new vehicles requires innovation and collaboration.

Recognising that every key player in the airborne vehicle ecosystem had a slightly different view of the future skies, CANSO set up the CATS Global Council to establish a shared global industry vision.

The CATS vision – which took account of the views of the 70 different organizations that make up the Global Council – was released in October 2021, and followed by the development of a roadmap to provide a clear direction for that vision.

The session explored the critical role universities and research centres will play. With artificial intelligence, data analytics, communication networks, and automation so vital to the next generation of air traffic management, the industry needs to engage with academic excellence.

Universities and research centres also help to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange among stakeholders. Combining the cutting-edge ideas of academia with the practical know-how of industry experts is helping to build an innovative yet realistic foundation for success.

In his opening speech, Hocquard also noted that universities and research centres are a link to “promoting public awareness and understanding of the benefits and challenges of air traffic management”. In many aspects, they also work closely with governments and other authorities and so can ensure the CATS vision is reflected in national and international policies and regulations.

Ultimately, the CATS vision and roadmap will create a safer, more efficient, and more sustainable airspace system for generations to come.

The panel:

Dr Tatjana (Tanja) Bolić, University of Westminster

Prof. Clyde Rinkinen, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Prof. Francis Schubert, McGill University