In this issue we are delighted to report on some new aviation
contracts, a number of them dealing with business cases, and the
outcome of earlier work that has been published.
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UPDATE ON ATM
Public Opinion on Air Traffic Management
The report has now been
This was an interesting piece of work that demonstrates that the air
traffic management industry is largely unaware of how the public
thinks about it. Some might say that aircraft operators are the
clients for ATM and public perception is not an issue. However, much
of the industry is still in the public sector and depends on
Governments for investment funding. Politicians are particularly moved
by public opinion and are likely to respond more positively in favour
of ATM if public opinion is supportive.
Another interesting feature was that the survey found only one
published report on the public's perception of aviation security. We
expected to find more. Maybe one of our readers can throw more light
on this topic?
In parallel with our report there was
review of ATM in the European press. Although constrained in
scope, its findings demonstrated limited, national, coverage of ATM in
its own right and an emphasis on failings rather than the positive
aspects. Whereas the industry internally is technically driven, there
is very little coverage in the press of technology.
The overall picture is of an introspective industry that is perceived
as an enabler for the more glamorous airline businesses. This may not
be a surprising conclusion, but it may help to explain why it is so
difficult to gain political support for the necessary changes in the
Aviation safety is a continuing challenge that has to be
understood if new technology is to be introduced successfully. We are
working with HRA to identify the nature of safety culture in ATM with
a view to informing future developments.
Once again it is surprising that so little specific work has been
done on the subject. Aviation is strong on safety management systems,
safety cases and resource management but ATM in particular takes its
safety culture for granted. In terms of its safety track-record the
industry can hardly be criticised. However, if in the future the
introduction of new tools and procedures changes the role of the
controller or the nature of the work, we will have to be sure that we
do not destroy the underlying safety culture. The first step is to
understand the characteristics of safety culture, which is the purpose
of the current work. More details can be found
ATM Business Cases
Business cases for the major ATM programme developments are
complicated affairs that impact upon a great number of stakeholders.
Icon has been engaged to work with EEC Bretigny on some focussed work
that will contribute to the business cases for C_ATM and SEAP.
C_ATM is an industry-wide initiative that intends to define the
medium-term future ATM system and to carry out a series of trials to
validate its implementation. SEAP is part of the introduction of
datalink technologies to the Mediterranean area.
We are helping to define common methodologies for the cost-benefit
analyses and then to carry out modelling using EEC tools in order to
substantiate the levels of benefits to be achieved.
We welcome this opportunity as, in our opinion, it addresses a number
of the current difficulties with cost-benefit analyses and business
cases. For instance:
- It becomes possible to establish common sets of assumptions and
metrics and therefore a basis for comparing results
- Generally more work needs to be done on validating the value of
benefits and particularly on the network effects of changes
- It provides a basis for benefit management and for prioritising
design features and implementation timetables both within a single
project and across the system.
We expect these advantages to become ever more important as
programmes focus on achieving the Single European Sky.
Update on Other Activities
Icon has developed a simple and adaptable software tool, which
provides our Clients with a higher level of assurance when it comes to
data, change control and process integrity.
Utilising the database functionality of MS Access, the tool helps to
provide a formal structure to corporate data and information in
relation to the organisation. It records links, relationships and
dependencies between this information and is, therefore, extremely
useful in highlighting where the data and information resides in a
hierarchy. For example, one of our clients in the Rail Industry has
used the tool to link its Policies, Standards, Procedures, Work
Instructions, Guidance Notes and Specifications.
In addition, the data and information structure can be baselined
which enables changes to be tracked, including who made the changes,
date, time and the actual change.
In this capacity, the tool provides traceability and a robust audit
trail. It is particularly useful in supporting a formal change control
process where visibility is required of what has been added, amended
or deleted and the impact of these changes.
The tool has also been used in undertaking Stakeholder Analyses.
Various people, groups, departments and organisations can be
associated with their views and the relationships between each can be
Our consultants have been involved in the Performance Review
Commission Report on Aeronautical Meteorological Costs, which has now
UK Government has just started a Foresight Programme review of
and Icon was invited to attend the scoping workshop. We are looking
forward to participating in this work and extending our thinking and
our horizons over the next few months.
If you are interested in any of the issues and solutions discussed
in this newsletter please contact us.