22nd of October 2021.

Pavilion of Knowledge – Largo José Mariano Gago, Parque das Nações, Lisbon, Portugal.

We are pleased to invite you to the International Air Traffic Control Meeting subordinated to a current pressing subject: “Rebuilding Aviation Industry – Opportunities and challenges to the Future”. 

This meeting, held by the Portuguese Air Traffic Controllers Association – APCTA, aims to be a space for reunion and debate between several aviation experts, going beyond geographical and curriculum areas, thus promoting an encompassing reflection regarding national aviation present and future. 

As in previous years, APCTA meeting will address the most pressing matters in the industry, from an integrative and dual approach, structured in two panels: European Airspace – a strategic asset and Aviation as a catalyst for economic regrowth.


In the first panel, the strategic value of the airspace will be discussed, the outset being the european strategy regarding the industry for the upcoming decades, focussing on the motivations and consequences of such policies on both national and international levels. 

The second panel will strive to examine the Aviation Industry’s future in Portugal, in the perspective of the multiple national players as well as its role in the regrowth of the national economy.


09:30 Reception of participants

           APCTA – Ana Santiago

           Performance Review Body – PRB – Regula Dettling-Ott
           European Commission – DG MOVE – Frederik Rasmussen
           International Air Transport Association (IATA) – Giancarlo Buono
           Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (ATCEUC) – Volker Dick
           NAV Portugal – Nuno Simões

13:00 LUNCH

           National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) – Tânia Cardoso Simões
           ANA – Portugal Airports – Chloé Lapeyre
           TAP Portugal – Christine Ourmières-Widener
           NAV Portugal – Cristina Lima

16:30 Coffee-break

           SINCTA – Carlos Valdrez
           NAV Portugal – Egídia Martins
           Deputy Minister for Communications – Hugo Santos Mendes

Host: Cristina Esteves




In the late 90’s, the European Commission launched the Single European Sky – SES initiative, proposing a remodel of the ATM European System setting the kick-off of a broad, cross border strategy for the aviation navigation in Europe. In 2012, aiming to improve the air navigation services provided in safety, environment and cost-capacity domains, the First Reference Period (RP1 – 2012/2014) begun, setting a pan-european regulatory frame with clear-cut goals for the aforementioned areas to be enforced by all ANSPs (Air Navigation Service Providers). 

In face of the cost reduction set forth by both the first and second Reference Periods (RP2 – 2017/2019), the ANSps were obliged to perform significant cuts in human resources and technological developments. These measures allowed for cost reductions in the short term, as airspace users intended. However, the consequences in the mid term arose. As soon as the traffic demand increased, the ANSPs were left without the needed leverage to absorb this augment as the human and technological resources required were absent. 

At the introduction of the third Reference Period (RP3 – 2020/2024), with the first definition to all four areas of the performance scheme announced, the European Commission kept its focus in a cost contention policy based in a continuous air traffic growth on european level, though acknowledging the previous proposed targets for environment and capacity were hindered by the strangulation on investments caused by the preceding RP Plans. Covid-19 crisis changed the performance goals definition paradigm. The traffic plummeted; the forecast is that there will be a several year delay before returning to 2019 statistics. As we’re currently defining the national performance scheme plan for RP3, it’s imperative to reflect about the context of the ATM sector and the impact of the performance schemes on european ANSPs. 

Last September, the European Commission proposed a new legal framework intending to reshape the ATM sector. The proposal is a reformulation of 2013s SES 2+ Plan plus the outline of a change to the base regulatory frame of the European Aviation Agency (EASA). 

On this year’s first semester, the European Council and the European Parliament Transport Committee defined their standing regarding the aforementioned proposal, agreeing with the European Commission as to the main goals for the Single European Sky: the reorganization shall reinforce safety, address capacity needs, help reduce emissions and simultaneously display a positive cost efficiency. It should also contribute to the safe introduction of drones into the airspace. Nevertheless, though upholding the same objectives, the several entities do not share the same vision as to how and with what resources to achieve them. 

As on one hand the RP3 National Performance Scheme  and the Legal Framework under discussion by the Commission, Council and European Parliament are mandatory across the aviation players, and in the other hand the potential consequences to both the national economy and sovereignty might be substantial, these will be the key subjects discussed in the first panel. 

Several experts with different perspectives and responsibilities within the European Performance System will be attending and participating, trying to present and debate the european approach to air navigation, the outcome on national level and their prospects.

Through the International ATM Conference, APCTA wishes to contribute to the most important and extensive debate and reflection regarding the strategic options to the national air traffic management. 

Hope to see you there!




Public investment in the Lisbon Aerodrome System has been systematically delayed on the everlasting promise of a new airport, and more recently due to the economic restraints the country experienced.  On the other hand the traffic forecast for the mid/long range led to the impracticability of the new airport project as it would take too long to build such an infrastructure in due time, and the consideration of new options were deemed necessary. 

The spike growth in traffic, before the Covid-19 pandemic, anticipated in nearly 10 years the projections for Humberto Delgado International Airport (AHD), leading to the congestion of the country main aerodrome infrastructure which resulted in increased  delays, operational management hindrances and a negative impact in national economy. 

This bottleneck was curtailed by the current pandemic that brought the biggest crisis in aviation history. As tourism is one of the main economic leverages in Portugal, the aviation industry has a major part in its sustainable growth, thus in the economy on local and national span. 

It is therefore of the utmost importance that, post-covid, the sector is seen and managed in a safe, environmentally sustainable and economically feasible manner. To achieve this model, it’s capital that postponed projects are quickly resumed, allowing the sector an appropriate response to the coming challenges. 

In attention to these events, APCTA will promote on the second panel, a encompassing review regarding the strategy for aviation future  in Portugal, aiming to identify the options that will help drive national economic recovery.



Date: 22nd of October 2021, 09h00 to 17h00.

Venue: Knowledge Pavilion, Parque das Nacoes, Lisbon 

Portuguese-English simultaneous translation


The event will strictly abide to all norms set by Direcao Geral de Saúde


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