Weekly Review #238 - Exploring the Big IFs: International Federations and understanding ATM

Picture of Vincent Lambercy
Posted by Vincent Lambercy
ATM is a multi-faceted subject and getting a good grasp of all its aspects is not easy. Whether you work for an ANSP or an industry provider, it takes a lot of time, effort and patience to gain insight across the whole industry. I have been there myself. On a personal note, sometimes I miss having direct access to operational areas and ATCOs. The time I was able to spend there was invaluable and definitely contributed to my own understanding of the industry. Today, even after 24 years, I never miss an opportunity to visit a tower, an ops room or a cockpit.
Another fascinating thing is how different actors have different views and different perceptions of each other's tasks and duties. ATCOs, ATSEPs, and AIM people work together every day. However, several aspects of each job are not always well-known and understood by other professionals.
One way to get a better understanding of the different views, pain points and current topics is via the big IFs: IFATCA , IFATSEA, IFISA and IFAIMA. They are International Federations that group together local associations of ATCOs, ATSEPs, FISOs and AIM people respectively. The big IFs all have their own websites, publish articles and magazines, organize regular events, either globally or regionally, and more. Membership is strictly reserved for people of their respective professions, but some of the events and meetings are also open to observers or sponsors. Often, the best part is the informal networking that takes place during the breaks and dinners.
So if you want to get the pulse of the industry, being in touch with the big IFs is a great way. It will certainly give you a new perspective on topics you already know and enrich your global understanding.
Want to discuss further? Reply to this email. I read all the replies. And now, see your usual round of ATM news below.

ANSP news

  • NATS gears up for busy summer ahead - So far this year, flights are 4.7 per cent up on 2023, with a five per cent increase as the build-up to summer began. With major world events like the Champions League Final in London and the Paris Olympics promising to increase air traffic levels, and new bases for easyJet at Birmingham and Jet2 at Liverpool, NATS has been preparing for strong demand over the next few months and is part of a Europe-wide All Together Now campaign being led by EUROCONTROL.

Airport news

Market news

  • Advancing the Digital European Sky with the European Satellite Services Provider (ESSP)- Egis has been selected to support ESSP with expertise provision, planning, and technical support activities for a high-profile and large-scale Digital Sky Demonstrator - the European Sky Multilink Aeronautical Telecommunications Network. The ESMA project addresses the need to increase automation in air traffic management. Co-founded by CINEA and supported by SESAR, it has received over Euros 11 million in Connecting Europe Facility funding and will run over the coming three years.

Context information

  • Redefining procurement in air traffic management for the digital era- In a world where technology advances at breakneck speed, the ATM sector finds itself at a crossroads and lagging behind other sectors. The challenge? Escaping from conservative procurement approaches driven principally by regulation and not settling for the status quo! This delicate balance between innovation and risk is one that Egis’ Dr Rafi Riley addressed in a talk at Airspace World in Geneva. Today, he translates those insights into a blog explaining how ANSPs can be empowered by strategic procurement.
  • DFS Aviation Services supports Deutschlandstipendium- DFS Aviation Services actively promotes education and talented students by supporting the Deutschlandstipendium. This national scholarship program allows gifted students to continue their academic careers without financial worries.

Research and innovation

Reorts and data


  • Why do we need U-space right now ? - Unmanned airspace- Many stakeholders including CAAs and drone operators often ask us the question why we really need U-space, and why we already need it now. According to a survey that was conducted by EASA in January 2024, at least one third of the EU member states is not adequately considering U-space implementation, 15 months after the EU U-space regulation became applicable. This was confirmed by the many ANSPs and CAAs we spoke to at the latest edition of the Airspace World conference.
  • Supernal researchers investigate UAM route planning in the high-density airspace of Los Angeles - Unmanned airspace- In a new research paper “Design of UAM Network and Ecosystem Integration”  from Supernal, researchers have investigated the routes and procedures to bring urban air mobility vehicles to market in Los Angeles Metropolis. The paper looks at the intricacies of high-density operations in congested airspace.
  • European Commission adopts regulatory package, giving go-ahead for VTOL operations and air taxis - The European Commission has adopted a package of secondary legislation on drones and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capable aircraft, which puts the final rules in place for the launch of Innovative Air Mobility, including air taxi services.
  • Continuing U-space ConOps development in the new CORUS five project - EUROCONTROL- The SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking has announced the results of its most recent Exploratory Research call. Among the awarded projects is CORUS five, which will deliver the fifth version of the European U-space Concept of Operations (ConOps). The project follows in the footsteps of its very successful predecessors, CORUS and CORUS-XUAM, in being a pan-European consortium led by the EUROCONTROL Innovation Hub.