The Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (Canso) and the U.S.-based Air Traffic Control Association (Atca), opened the inaugural World ATM Congress in the Spanish capital Madrid on Tuesday. The breakaway event represents competition for the traditional annual gathering of the world ATC community—the commercially run ATC Global, which will be held in Amsterdam in March.
Jeff Poole, Canso director general, and Atca president Peter Dumont cut a ribbon to open the exhibit floor at Madrid’s IFEMA conference center and then joined Spanish officials in welcoming attendees to the three-day event. The organizers reported more than 4,600 registrants and 160 exhibitors.
In his remarks, Dumont said the industry organizations decided to launch their own conference and exhibition out of a desire “to take control of our own destiny.” He singled out Neil Planzer, Boeing’s vice president of air traffic management, for devising the idea and being “truly an architect” of the event.
Poole, who formerly served as director of government and industry affairs with the International Air Transport Association, took the reins of Canso this year after Graham Lake abruptly stepped down last March. He said the Netherlands-based organization representing world air navigation service providers is “determined to move from a talking organization to a doing organization…to a delivering organization. We know that you are here as a sign of trust in Canso, that we will deliver.”
Michael Huerta, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration administrator, was due to speak on “the view from America” on Tuesday. However, Poole announced that Huerta “is compelled to remain in the U.S. as a consequence of the issues associated with the [Boeing] 787 program.” Huerta was replaced as a speaker by John Porcari, U.S. deputy secretary of transportation.