Aviation Professionals meet in Mexico City for Safety Summit

ALTA 8th Safety Summit
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Aviation safety professionals from across the Americas are meeting in Mexico City this week for the 8th Annual Pan American Aviation Safety Summit taking place June 19 – 21, 2017.

The annual safety event is being hosted by the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) in partnership with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Air Transport Association (IATA), Flight Safety Foundation, and host carrier Aeromexico.

Declaring the Summit open on Tuesday was Ing. Jorge Romero García, Deputy Director General of Air Safety of the Civil Aviation Authority of Mexico.

The Summit will review safety trends and develop solutions that are critical to the future of the aviation industry in the Americas and the wider world. Other industry stakeholders that are collaborating with ALTA include Airports Council International (ACI), CANAERO, Asociación del Transporte Aereo en Colombia (ATAC), Central American Agency for Aviation Safety (ACSA), Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA), and International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA).

The collaborative actions stemming from key conversations, seminars, and safety committee meetings with influential industry professionals on mutual concerns and emerging issues have contributed significantly to the improvement of aviation safety in the region.

The Pan American Safety Summit’s agenda serves to foster the exchange of ideas and information, strengthen strategic business connections and shape industry standards through various training, panel discussions and seminars focused on mitigation strategies for the top data-driven risk areas in the region.

There are about 150 attendees representing airlines, civil aviation authorities, aviation associations, flight schools, safety experts, operators (commercial, cargo, and corporate), airport personnel, and air traffic control. Executives from ICAO, FAA, ALTA, IATA, ACI-LAC, CANSO, Flight Safety Foundation, Airbus, ATR, Boeing and Embraer are also in attendance.

“Safety is ALTA’s number one priority and as a result of a concerted and collaborative focus by ALTA member airlines on safety, the accident rate in the Latin America and Caribbean region has reduced dramatically over the past ten years,” said ALTA’s Executive Director, Eduardo Iglesias. “The collaborative efforts of regulators, manufacturers, and industry have helped us accomplish our 2020 safety goals before that date. And we accomplished this while doubling domestic and international traffic in the region – even tripling it in some markets – over the past ten years. This is a great achievement that we are proud of. We have succeeded in making tremendous improvements in safety and we will continue working on this front, but we need to do so in partnership with airports, authorities, and governments who understand the immense value of air transport.”

During the opening session, Mike Medeiros, Executive Director of Operations and Maintenance (COO) of Aeromexico, speaking on behalf of ALTA’s Executive Committee, discussed the immense importance that aviation in Latin America and the Caribbean provides in benefiting the social and economic impact of the region in generating such job creation, increasing tourism, connectivity and trade.

Important challenges to be addressed as the aviation sector grows include a marked lack of infrastructure investment through airports and air navigation systems, as well an uneven system of fees and taxes that in many cases are not reinvested in developing the industry.

The importance that air navigation has on daily operations and its impact on safety and efficient operations is critical and requires more attention and investment. There is a need to accelerate the implementation of satellite and performance based navigation (PBN), and greater integration and exchange of data between control centers with emphasis on technology as a tool of renovation. All of which would not only benefit in terms of safety and efficiency, but also the environment as a result of CO2 emissions reductions.

Airlines in the region have already invested greatly, and will continue to invest significant resources in technological innovation and efficiency, which in some cases cannot fully be operated, due to these infrastructure gaps. As a result of the industry’s investments in terms of safety, today the region operates a system of risk analysis using a database, including more than three million flights, which allows it to identify risks and manage those risks proactively.

“The region wants to continue being a worldwide leader in terms of safety, efficiency and an engine for economic development, and forums such as the ALTA Pan American Aviation Safety Summit allows us to exchange experiences, analyze trends, train our collaborators and generate work plans with the objective of even further improving our operations,” added Medeiros.


Sponsors for this year’s Pan American Safety Summit are Aerobytes, Airbus, Aireon, ATR, CGE Risk Management, ERGOSS, Flight Safety Foundation, Rockwell Collins, and Teledyne Controls.

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About: Wayne Farley

Wayne Farley is a safety evangelist who has 30 years of experience in the aviation industry with many of those years spent as an air traffic controller in aerodrome, approach and area facilities. He is an aviation enthusiast and maintains an active blog.

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