ICAO President Demands Better ATM Cooperation

 - February 12, 2013, 10:00 AM
Roberto Kobeh-Gonzalez, president of the council of the International Civil Aviation Organization, gave the keynote address at the World ATM Congress in Madrid on Tuesday. (Photo: Bill Carey)

The president of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council has called for greater cooperation among nations to achieve global air traffic management goals. “Technology alone will not bring us where we want to go. If we want to turn our vision from reality, we need to [make] a fundamental shift in perspective,” said Roberto Kobeh-Gonzalez, who gave the keynote address at the World ATM Congress in Madrid on Tuesday.

As a result of the Chicago Convention, which created ICAO, “each state has complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above its territory. That is an inscrutable fact,” Kobeh-Gonzalez said. “We must now consider sovereignty within the context of the global, harmonized air navigation framework we want to implement. We need to think in global, systemic terms. Airspace structure can no longer be based only on national and domestic considerations as important as these may be. Major efficiency gains will be [achieved] through global integration rather than by rigid boundaries and structures.”

Last November, at the 12th Air Navigation Conference, ICAO reached consensus on a globally coordinated strategy for achieving ATM objectives to reduce air traffic congestion, Kobeh-Gonzalez said. The organization will do this through a process of block upgrades that accommodate the plans of individual states or regions to address airspace capacity. “Encouraging states and regions to develop their respective systems based on a globally agreed master plan is the most efficient and cost-effective way of reaching our ultimate objective of one sky for the world,” he added.