Today and even more tomorrow, a safe and efficient Air Traffic System, led by innovative and sustainable technologies, will be essential for our society and for the European economy, especially regarding aeronautic market essentially based on safety and confidence. Stakeholders and actors of ATM will have to adapt, train, upgrade their skills and anticipate the changes of tomorrow’s world, more and more digitalised. What are the skills required for the operation of tomorrow’s ATM?

Essential bases for all ATM stakeholders

Mastering of the entire value chain of the ATM system will be an essential criterion for the smooth running of the teams. Indeed, it will be necessary to have a global vision of the future ATM. This will involve new regulations and legal framework in order to coordinate new vehicles and airspace users. Business Model need to be also reinvented. ATM actors need to be more and more data and services oriented to become ADSP and on the other hand, new players in ATM ecosystem could enter the game thanks to data. The question of the economic model of these new players will therefore be at the heart of the system’s evolution. The players will also have to keep in mind the objectives of reducing carbon emissions and comply with European Green Deal. Above all that, safety first will still be the major rule for ATM players while cyber security challenge continue to grow.

New technologies: an opportunity for ATM

New technologies are going to play an increasingly important role in everyday life of ATM players. AI, Big Data, Cloud, natural interfaces, cybersecurity and augmented reality will be the new tools of tomorrow. They will thus make it possible to automate low added-value tasks and save precious time, so that people can focus on more tasks that are complex. Training will be more and more important and crucial to master these new technologies. Interoperability and data exchange will be at the heart of the system, on which Virtual Centre initiative and ADSP concept are based. The players will have to be trained, build up their skills in these technologies and surround themselves with experts in the field to ensure sustainable and efficient operation of the ATM system. In the meantime, the pace of change in those technologies will challenge our safety model based on stability

New ways of working: ensuring system flexibility

New technologies will definitely have an unprecedented impact on ATM. However, that will required to be supported by new working methods, which will have an equal impact. They will be developed to allow for system resilience. Complex problem solving, decision making, agility, SAFe, innovation management for example will be part of the daily life. The data era will unleashed the innovation closer to customer expectations. All possibilities of remote action such as the remote tower or the home office for instance will be increasingly solicited and will gradually become a standard. Change management will be key to guarantee success of the ATM system evolution. It will initially involve preparing the players for organisational and functional changes and then establishing a reskilling and upskilling strategy. These new ways of working represent a global support of the actors to enable them to be agile, innovative and efficient in this new working environment and even more collaborative than today

Setting up the future ATM: challenges for stakeholders

The development of new technologies and the implementation of these new ways of working will only be possible by overcoming three challenges:

  • Facilitate the adoption of this new mind-set concerning change. ATM has to do it first, by involving management, HR and players in the development of future ATM.
  • Understand how new technology, new procedures and new concepts will change skill requirements. Assess what part of future employment demand by reskilling workers versus hiring new ones can meet.
  • Surround players with the right experts to ensure the feasibility, implementation and monitoring of the new technologies that will be implemented in the system.

Mind-set, knowledge, competence and innovation management needs to be more considered in this coming ATM future. The CCS teams are working to integrate these new technologies and implement these new ways of working in order to continue the process of modernizing the ATM system.