SPEECH BY IVOR CALLELY, T.D. MINISTER OF STATE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT, AT THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF 9TH CANSO CHIEF EXECUTIVES CONFERENCE BUNRATTY, CO. CLARE 15 MAY 2005
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen
It is my pleasure to have been invited here to Bunratty to officially open this, the 9th CANSO Chief Executives Conferences. It is a great opportunity for me to re-acquaint myself with the beauty of this area and for all of you to conduct your business in such a wonderful setting.
The landscape here is dominated by Bunratty Castle, originally built in the year 970. It has been the subject of many attacks in the past and indeed the present structure is the last of four castles to be built on this site. Not all of our visitors in those days were received as warmly as you can expect to be received during you visit. I have no doubt that the staff of the Irish Aviation Authority will do all they can to extend the world famous Irish hospitality to you all, for the duration of your time here.
I know that all in the Irish Aviation Authority are proud to host the CEOs' Conference and AGM on this occasion. CANSO, which now represents 40 service providers worldwide, has grown from strength to strength in its first decade and I am pleased that the Authority, supported by my Department, has been part of this growth. As the aviation environment becomes more global, then the rationale for a truly global representative organisation becomes all the more obvious. I hope that in time, your visit to Bunratty will be seen as a major milestone in the development of CANSO.
CANSO has supported and continues to support the global Air Navigation Service Providers in their transition from government services to semi-state and privatised air navigation service providers.
Certainly, in the Irish context, this transition from state to semi-state has worked particularly well and my Department and the IAA enjoy a very productive relationship, built on mutual trust, cooperation and respect. Since it became corporatised in 1994, the Irish Aviation Authority has grown from strength to strength. Despite the relatively small size of Irish airspace, the IAA has built on its strengths to become a very significant player on the world aviation stage.
Just as Ireland and the IAA are both active and fully integrated within Europe and within the International Aviation Organisations, CANSO is increasingly doing likewise. For example, CANSO is playing a key role in the progression of the Single European Sky by co-ordinating the input of air navigation service providers and through its membership of the Industry Consultation Body.
The Single European Sky initiative marks the beginning of what I believe will be a new dramatic and exciting chapter in European air traffic control. The development of the Single Sky proposals is both a challenge and an opportunity for Air Navigation Service Providers to demonstrate in a practical way the greater efficiencies that can be obtained through the integration and development of services on a European scale while ensuring uniformly high safety standards throughout Europe.
The theme of this year's conference is 'Change in the Culture of Air Navigation Services.' CANSO is a key agent of change, leading the air navigation industry forward and pursuing greater cooperation and harmonisation within the air navigation industry and with customers and technology providers.
Your programme includes a list of distinguished speakers. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Bernie Smith CEO of Airservices Australia, Chairman of CANSO and Victor Aguado, Director General of Eurocontrol and all the other distinguished speakers and guests.
I wish you all the very best for your conference and AGM. You have a challenging programme ahead of you that I know will provoke constructive comment and debate. I look forward to hearing of the results achieved and I take the opportunity to wish CANSO and each member ANSP well in the years ahead.