Farhan Guliyev: CANSO summit will place special focus on strategies to mitigate aviation's environmental footprint by 2050

Farhan Guliyev: CANSO summit will place special focus on strategies to mitigate aviation's environmental footprint by 2050 As a significant aviation event approaches, set to unfold in Baku this June, Report information agency has conducted an interview with Mr. Farhan Guliyev, Adviser to President of Azerbaijan Airlines CJSC and Director of Azeraeronavigation Air Traffic Depa
June 6, 2024 13:30
Farhan Guliyev: CANSO summit will place special focus on strategies to mitigate aviation's environmental footprint by 2050

Baku will be the focal point for the global aviation industry on June 11-13 as it hosts the World Air Navigation Summit 2024 and the 28th Annual General Meeting of CANSO (Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation). The event, with a strong emphasis on ecological sustainability, aims to attract the attention of world leaders in the air traffic control industry to make crucial decisions, exchange knowledge, and engage in productive dialogues.

In an interview with Report, Mr. Farhan Guliyev, Adviser to President of Azerbaijan Airlines CJSC and Director of Azeraeronavigation Air Traffic Department (AZANS), emphasized the importance of CANSO Global ATM Summit 2024 and 28th Annual General Meeting, highlighting the opportunities and prospects linked with this event. Furthermore, the interview addressed the primary challenges confronting the aviation industry.

- Mr. Guliyev, a major CANSO event is scheduled to take place in Baku. But before we dive into that, let's talk about AZANS' operations. What role does the organization play in the use of Azerbaijani airspace?

- Azerbaijan's airspace stands as a valuable national asset. Dozens of international routes pass through our airspace, connecting numerous countries and continents. Air navigation services are the foundation of the global air transportation and logistics network.

Azeraeronavigation ATM (AZANS) of Azerbaijan Airlines CJSC plays a vital role in ensuring air traffic control and flight safety within the airspace of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

- Thus, airspace is a very complex system?

- Definitely. Air traffic services in Azerbaijan encompass routes spanning approximately 12,000 kilometres in total length.

Our area of responsibility is defined and approved by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council and covers around 165,400 square kilometres of airspace. AZANS oversees air traffic services, air traffic management, radio technical support for flights, civil-military coordination, control use of the airspace, provision of aeronautical and meteorological information, emergency alerts, and numerous other functions aimed at ensuring the safety and regularity of operations.

- AZANS has recently achieved significant milestones. How does the international community assess the performance of the Air Traffic Department?

- The Global Safety Achievement Award 2022 affirms AZANS' adherence to the highest global standards in aviation security, underscoring the significance and reliability of its operations. Another notable milestone is development of Azerbaijan's National Airspace Strategy (NAS) in cooperation with IATA.

These achievements position Baku as the prime choice for hosting major aviation events. Azerbaijan plays a pivotal role in global aviation, situated at the crossroads of air routes connecting Europe and Asia. In this regard, it is crucial to highlight forecasts for aviation market expansion by 2040, which indicate that the fastest-growing regions will include China, India, Türkiye, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

It should be noted that AZANS experts and specialists play an active role in various working groups within ICAO, EUROCONTROL, and CANSO, assuming the roles of chairmen or co-chairmen in several groups.

Additionally, in 2023, AZANS took the initiative to sign the first agreement with the General Directorate of State Airports Authority of Türkiye (DHMI). This agreement put foundation of a regional organisation - SOCEA aimed to cooperate among air navigation service providers on air navigation safety, ensuring flight safety between Europe and Asia. Later the rest navigation providers from Central Asian countries joined this organisation.

- Mr. Guliyev, why is it important for Azerbaijan to host CANSO event in Baku and what is its significance for the international aviation community?

- Hosting CANSO event in Baku holds paramount importance for Azerbaijan, affirming its reputation as a reliable partner within the global aviation industry. This event not only unlocks new opportunities for fostering partnerships but also serves to fortify connections within the aviation industry. Moreover, it stands as a testament to Azerbaijan's achievements in the field of civil aviation.

For the international community, these events serve as crucial platforms for addressing contemporary issues, sharing best practices, and fostering innovation. This contributes to developing the global aviation network, fostering international cooperation, and ensuring the ongoing enhancement of standards within the aviation industry.

- What will be the primary focus of the upcoming CANSO Summit? What subjects will be addressed?

- Speeches at the CANSO Summit will be focused on several critical aspects crucial for the future of aviation. Special emphasis will be placed on advanced aviation technologies, strategies for reducing carbon emissions, and enhancements in air traffic management. On the eve of COP29 in Baku, special focus will be placed on strategies to mitigate aviation's environmental footprint by 2050.

There are planned discussions on enhancing air traffic management, encompassing establishing a talent pool and fostering workforce development to sustain the growth of the aviation industry. Additionally, there will be exploration into leveraging digital technology and innovative developments aimed to achieve cleaner skies, often referred to as “green skies”.

- How do you expect the upcoming CANSO event to influence the development of air transportation in Azerbaijan, considering the forecasts provided by IATA?

- Considering the upcoming CANSO Global ATM Summit 2024 and 28th AGM in Baku, it's crucial to take note of IATA’s forecasts related to the future growth of air transportation in Azerbaijan. IATA predicts a notable increase in demand for passenger air transportation within the country. It's worth noting that in recent years Azerbaijan's airspace is experiencing significantly increased role as a transit hub. Currently, we are experiencing a notable uptick in transit traffic within our airspace.

Since 2021, there has been a remarkable growth over flight traffic over the territory of Azerbaijan, with 360% increase. Today, around 18 thousand flights are overflying Azerbaijan's airspace monthly, and approximately 900 aircraft being handled daily.

AZANS is diligently working towards establishing Azerbaijan as a pivotal hub for air traffic between Europe and Asia. It's noteworthy that the development of logistics for the Europe-Asia air corridor, which passes Azerbaijan's airspace, is being supported at a high international level.

According to IATA forecasts, the demand for passenger air transport in Azerbaijan is expected to surge by 80% over the next two decades. For this purpose, AZANS is undertaking an initiative to establish a Europe-Eurasia digital pipeline. This initiative aims to facilitate the exchange of aeronautical data between centres in Europe and Baku, enhancing the digitalization of aviation communications across Europe and the Eurasian region.

In striving to position Azerbaijan as a crucial connecting hub for air traffic between Europe and Asia, AZANS is actively developing the route network while maintaining efficiency and environmental safety measures. This creates a more sustainable and environmentally friendly aviation sector, contributing to the global reduction of carbon footprint.

- In recent years, AZANS has been at the forefront of adopting cutting-edge digital technologies. Could you please elaborate on this?

- Over the past years, AZANS has undertaken extensive modernization initiatives and executed major projects to safely manage the growing volume of air traffic. AZANS' strategic development objectives are centred on digitizing air navigation services, encompassing the utilization of artificial intelligence, state-of-the-art satellite, radar, and navigation systems, alongside automation of control processes.

Azeraeronavigation ATM is committed to integrating of the cutting-edge digital solutions to deliver high-quality services for airspace users. Recently, a project to deploy a global satellite tracking and surveillance system for aircraft via Aireon satellite stations was successfully completed. This system utilizes the Iridium NEXT satellites launched by SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets, providing complete global coverage. These satellites receive signals from ADS-B-equipped aircraft, enabling the transmission of real-time data to the air navigation service providers. The implementation of this system in Azerbaijan will enable us to harness the full benefits of innovative technologies.

In 2023, the completion of the project to on implementation of a digitalization platform and introduce dynamic airspace management marked a revolutionary change in the aviation industry. This establishes new benchmarks for compliance and consolidation within the aviation industry.

Furthermore, there are ongoing developments in the unmanned aviation segment, including the creation of Azeraeronavigation ATD Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) Control Centre intergrade with ATC.

And these are just a few examples of the strategic projects AZANS is consistently carrying out.

- What challenges and opportunities does AZANS envision in the future development of air transportation?

- The initiation of new projects by AZANS is driven by the continuously increasing volume of air traffic and the heightened demand non air navigation services by airspace users. All these initiatives are in line with the requirements outlined in the ICAO Global Air Navigation Plan. AZANS is developing airspace and route networks at both regional and global levels. As an example, discussions are currently underway regarding the establishment of new air routes from Azerbaijan to China.

Of particular significance is the active works on restoration of airspace over Azerbaijan's liberated territories, which was closed for international and domestic flights for decades. By reopening the skies over these territories for international civil aviation, we are creating conditions to meet the increasing demand for air transportation.

Considering forecasted increase in demand, we recognize significant potential for the development of air transportation in the region. In light of the current situation, the development of air transport corridors in the region and facilitation of transit traffic through our countries' airspace are pivotal in sustaining the global air transport network, enhancing flight efficiency, advocating for sustainable development, and mitigating environmental impact.

- Thank you for the engaging discussion, and we extend our best wishes for success in AZANS' endeavours and at the forthcoming CANSO events.

- Thank you. We are confident that our country will maintain its pivotal role in advancing air transportation both regionally and globally.

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