Johan Decuyper receives prestigious ATCA award in US
FABEC rewarded for its innovative research on unpredictable factors in air traffic control
At the presentation of the ATCA awards in Maryland (US) Johan Decuyper, as FABEC Chairman of the CEO Board, received the air traffic management category award. The prestigious award is presented to an organisation of exceptional merit in its sector.
ATCA (Air Traffic Control Association) is a professional organisation, open to all who share a common interest in promoting and encouraging the advancement of aviation and air traffic control. Once a year they organise a large conference where experts from across the world keep abreast of the sector’s developments by attending lectures, workshops and informal contact opportunities. This year it was the 63th time that the conference took place.
Each year various awards in different categories are presented during this event. The awards are a recognition to those persons and/or organisations engaged in the development, operation, or maintenance of the worldwide air traffic control system for outstanding achievement.
Innovative FABEC research
This year FABEC was handed the David J. Hurley Memorial Award for Aviation Traffic Management. This award recognizes achievements in the areas of vision, strategy and leadership. FABEC received the award because of its innovative work in the field of volatility and adverse weather. The different member states conducted common extensive research on the consequences of unexpected events and extreme weather conditions on air traffic control.
FABEC has researched a wide scope of unexpected events, focussing on situations impacting air traffic in general and air traffic control in particular: the Syria crisis, opening or closing airspace over the Ukraine, low-cost companies that suddenly no longer service certain routes, changes within the air traffic control centre services themselves,… They all impact the day-to-day activities of the air traffic control centres and their staff. FABEC has mapped them out and also attempts to suggest solutions with regard to the predictability of such events.
Another specific phenomenon are the (increasingly) extreme weather conditions as a result of climate change: heavy rains, severe thunderstorms, gales, blizzards,… They are of unprecedented intensity in the past two decades, with often serious consequences on aviation, e.g. airports having to close, flights being cancelled, aircraft having to detour. FABEC also researched those phenomena in order to appreciate the effects and make recommendations as to how such situations are best handled.
FABEC was invited to Maryland by ATCA to give a presentation on these matters.
Johan Decuyper, Belgocontrol CEO and FABEC Chairman of the CEO Board, collected the award. In his speech he explained the reasons why he is proud to receive the award on behalf of FABEC: “This award is not only an acknowledgement of the result of our research and recommendations, but also a reward for each and every participant in the study. Cooperation between the air navigation service providers of the six FABEC member states is excellent, as these projects and other initiatives demonstrate. This award is an incentive to continue on our path and shows how our co-operation can inspire others.”