Following lunch, Conference heard from the first of our guest speaker for the afternoon. Patrik Peters, IFATCA President & CEO, spoke about the current state of global Air Traffic Control, particularly around the theme of Airspace Liberalisation. Patrik discussed that the direction the industry was taking around airspace was based on performance and trajectory management. Such examples are Performance Based Navigation (PBN), performance based airspace - that is airspace sectors that change dynamically with traffic volume, weather or military operations and four dimensional trajectory management.
The issue of harmonisation across states within the European Union was also discussed. Patrik believes that harmonisation can only work when all players are on a level playing field. Competition can disrupt this playing field and therefore harmonisation.
Patrik spoke candidly about the future of automation within the industry and that, whilst automation will be able to assist, it will not replace people. That is, it will be automated but not autonomous. ICAO estimates that more than 40,000 new Air Traffic Controllers will be required in the near future. He also spoke on how failed technology projects have forced controllers to take up the slack, with increasing traffic levels and this is leading to burnout.
The topic of cyber security was identified is a real threat to the introduction of new remote technologies, particularly satellite based surveillance and remote Towers.
NZALPA would like to thank Patrik for taking the time to address Conference this year and we look forward to hearing from him again.
Conference then heard reports from the Group Life Fund (GDF) and Contingency Fund Trust (CFT).
Following this we had our second speaker for the afternoon, Rhys Boswell, General Manager - Strategy and Sustainability, Christchurch International Airport. Rhys discussed the Christchurch Airport Mission statement and some of the current issues and future plans for the airport. Rhys spoke particularly about the topic of birds, noise and Performance Based Navigation (PBN). Rhys then took numerous questions from the floor.
The day concluded with trustee elections and sub-committee meetings.