Some of Asia Pacific’s most senior aviation leaders will converge on Queenstown this week to discuss the challenges of unprecedented global air traffic growth in the region.
The talks are part of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) Asia Pacific Conference, to be hosted by air navigation service provider Airways New Zealand on 5 and 6 May.
“These talks will be vital to ensure the future sustainability of Asia Pacific, and of travel and tourism to New Zealand,” says Airways CEO Ed Sims. “Our region is facing a period of unprecedented growth; the projected increase in traffic and airspace congestion will have a profound impact on safety, efficiency, environmental sustainability and the wider economy.”
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), within 20 years about half of the world’s air travel – nearly three billion journeys – will touch Asia Pacific, up from around 30% now.
Mr Sims says, “The aviation industry has an opportunity to harness this projected volume as a positive driver of growth for the region. The work of this conference is to ensure the supply of essential services matches this demand and that Asia Pacific retains its status as one of safest and most efficient regions in world.”
Key speakers at the CANSO Asia Pacific Conference will include Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon, CANSO Director General Jeff Poole, CANSO Asia Pacific Chair and Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore Kevin Shum, and IATA Regional Director, Safety and Flight Operations Asia Pacific Blair Cowles.
CANSO Director General Jeff Poole said, “The CANSO Asia Pacific Conference has attracted a record 170 participants. This reflects the importance of the region and the vital role that air traffic management plays in providing the infrastructure that enables connectivity, provides access to markets, boosts tourism and contributes to the region’s GDP.”
Mr Sims says Airways chose Queenstown to host the CANSO Asia Pacific conference as its world renowned airport approach demonstrates the positive economic and environmental potential of innovations in air traffic management.
“In Queenstown we now have one of the most sophisticated air navigation control systems in the world. In 2012 we introduced Performance Based Navigation procedures which helped to double the number of flights into Queenstown, reduced delays and diversions, and delivered a safer and more efficient air traffic management system,” he says.
Queenstown Airport and Airways New Zealand have also just completed a $19.6 million runway and airfield lighting upgrade to prepare the airport for evening flights. Mr Sims says this critical infrastructure upgrade will unlock wide economic and tourism benefits for the region, and New Zealand.
The conference is the global air traffic management industry’s largest and most significant event for the Asia Pacific region.