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Airways New Zealand welcomes trans-Tasman aviation industry group

09 Mar 2017

Ed Sims says, "As a key airline service provider and industry partner, Airways New Zealand welcomes this industry-wide emphasis on increased competition. 

"Right now the aviation sector is experiencing a period of unprecedented traffic growth. It's important that we all harness this growth and take a collaborative approach to the capacity, cost and environmental challenges facing our industry."

Last month Airways New Zealand became a founding member of the ATM Policy Institute ­­- an international group of air traffic management (ATM) providers committed to improving the efficiency and performance of ATM through greater market liberalisation.


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Note for Editors

For your background information, here is the February 7, 2017 media release about the ATM Policy Institute, referred to above.

New think-tank launched to promote Air Traffic Management liberalisation

A group of industry players have come together to launch a debate about how the efficiency and performance of air traffic management (ATM) could be improved through greater market liberalisation. Founded by the air navigation service providers (ANSPs) of New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Czech Republic and in partnership with the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), the ATM Policy Institute will provide research on ATM policy issues and make the case for the benefits of enabling ANSPs to compete with each other for the provision of ATM services.

The Institute is chaired by David McMillan, a former Director General of Eurocontrol and, prior to that, the Director General of Civil Aviation in the UK’s Department for Transport.

“Liberalisation revolutionised the airline industry and has been a global success story, driving growth across the world,” said David McMillan. “Unfortunately, air traffic management remains largely a national monopoly, without the incentives necessary to drive up performance. We believe that by opening up parts of the ATM industry to greater liberalisation significant benefits could be achieved, including reducing costs and minimising the environmental impact of aviation, all while maintaining or improving on today’s safety levels.”

While there is currently very limited competition within the ATM industry, in cases where competition has been introduced, the benefits are already evident. For example, in Spain, changes in the provider of Terminal Air Navigation Services as a result of a competitive tender are estimated to have resulted in cost savings of around 50 per cent, while in Sweden savings of 30-40 per cent have been reported.

“We are looking forward to working with airlines, regulators and other stakeholders, including, importantly the staff of ANSPs,” McMillan noted. “For too long there has been no focal point for the work that is being done on these topics around the world. The benefits to airlines and their passengers of taking advantage of this thinking are clear.”

The Institute has launched a paper ‘The case for liberalising Air Traffic Control’ setting out the benefits of liberalising the ATM industry as well as outlining a vision of what competition in ATM would look like.

The paper argues that the ATM industry is currently under-performing, in large part due to the absence of competition to incentivise performance. It argues that competition could generate significant benefits for customers, including creating strong incentives for ANSPs to improve their cost efficiency and operations in order to compete on price, without compromising safety.

David McMillan added: “It’s time we look for new ways to meet the capacity, cost and environmental challenges facing our industry. New thinking is required and we hope we can prompt policy-makers around the world to think differently about how to improve ATM performance and meet the future challenges facing the industry.”



For further information please contact:

Isabelle Teresa

Senior Communications Advisor

027 548 8794 



About Airways

Airways is a world-leading commercial Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), and operates in New Zealand as a State-Owned Enterprise (SOE).

The organisation looks after key aviation infrastructure around New Zealand and manages the more than 1 million traffic movements per year into and around New Zealand’s 30 million square kilometres of airspace.

Airways provides air traffic control and engineering training, and has delivered air traffic management, Flight-yield revenue management solutions, navigation services and consultancy in more than 65 countries.

For more information about Airways please visit