The Maverick Awards, created to recognise important contributions in the industry of air traffic management (ATM), are awarded to any individual or group for outstanding achievements that significantly benefit the industry sector.

Winners are being announced during the Maverick Awards Ceremony at 2022 World ATM Congress on next 22 June in the ATM Wing Theater of IFEMA MADRID


Madrid, 6 June 2022. ATCA (the Air Traffic Control Association) and CANSO (the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation) are honoured to announce the finalists for the third annual Maverick Awards presented by World ATM Congress. The Awards recognise outstanding achievements in innovation, collaboration, resiliency, and sustainability in air traffic management (ATM).

“We are thrilled to once again announce the Maverick Awards finalists for the past year,” said ATCA President and CEO Brian R. Bruckbauer. “Our award will recognise collaboration, innovation, and sustainability. New this year, our resiliency award recognises individuals or organisations demonstrating the ability to respond and adapt quickly to a crisis, showing manoeuvrability and critical forward-thinking, or those committed to organisational and industry recovery post-pandemic.”

Over 55 nominations were received from air navigation service providers (ANSPs), industry, and academia, which were narrowed down to twelve finalists, three in each award category.

The Collaboration Award recognises the importance of effective relationships and partnerships within/across disciplines and sectors to achieve a shared goal.


The finalists for the Collaboration Award are (in alphabetical order):

  •         CASA for the partnership of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Airservices Australia (ASA), and four industry UAS service suppliers to create a path forward for digital efficiencies, increased safety, and a more accessible airspace through ATM/UTM and automation. The collaborative group worked together to create, implement, iterate, and expand an automation-driven ecosystem oversight and management tool, the RPAS Platform, to help the authorisation trial team perform critical tasks to ensure safe operations in an integrated airspace. It also established performance-based standards that enabled a marketplace of USSPs to flourish, meet varied pilot needs, and be overseen through that single RPAS Platform.


  •         COOPANS Alliance The Air Navigation Providers of Austria (AustroControl), Croatia (Croatia Control), Denmark (Naviair), Ireland (Irish Air Navigation Authority), Portugal (Nav Portugal), Sweden (LFV) – the COOPANS Alliance – and the world industrial leader in ATM, Thales, through their successful, long-term collaboration have brought the development of innovative ATM features to a new level thanks to a cutting-edge cloud-based innovation ATM platform called SkyLab. The result of this collaboration through partnership, technology, and innovation, brings the unprecedented capacity for ANSPs and industrials to collaborate, discuss the solutions implemented, the alternative designs, and collectively innovate in a more agile way from anywhere, anytime, making sure innovations become operational a lot faster with the guarantee of fit-for-purpose, validating cyber and safety measures at the same time.


  •         DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH for strong and flexible collaboration in times of crisis – resilience in the context of the Ukrainian war. The need arose for NATO partners to conduct extensive military flight operations through German airspace. Outstanding collaboration brought up a flexible solution, which allowed for minimum impact on civil air traffic flows. Because of the established civil-military integration in Germany at DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung and Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC), the necessary expertise, agreements and procedures were available to accommodate designated military areas, to be controlled by the German military. The required processes for disguised military flight operations and, at the same time, normal civil flight operations could be activated almost instantly; it was established on an ad hoc basis. In just one day, a corridor solution was ready and implemented due to the close cooperation between DFS, the German ministries of defence and transport, the Air and Space Operations Centre of the German Forces and MUAC.



The Innovation Award recognises new ideas, technologies, and concepts that challenge current ATM norms with the potential to significantly advance performance, operations, or capabilities.

The finalists for the Innovation Award are:

  •         EUROCONTROL MUAC for successfully introducing AI algorithms in the Integrated Flow Management Position at MUAC. Machine learning was used to reduce these uncertainties by extracting hidden patterns in historical data. This allowed for more accurate sector workload predictions and more optimal flow measures. Between 11 February 2022 and 6 April 2022, the improved prediction has reduced missed sector crossing by 40% resulting in a 2% increase of the sector sequence identification for an on-average negligible false crossing addition/insertion.


  •         Indra for managing the world’s largest remote tower operation, Avinor. By the end of 2023, 15 airports will be controlled from RTC, which is the largest tower of its kind. It houses 16 Remote Tower Modules (RTMs) and is fully flexible, providing access to any aerodrome from any RTM.


  •         UFA, Inc for creating the UFA Virtual Simulation Center (VSC) during the pandemic to use for training. The portal offered comprehensive, robust, and reliable training to customers. This included Professional Knowledge, Phraseology, and Radar Skills training which was accessed remotely by students from any location. Using remote access to the VSC, users were provided with virtual machines for all simulator positions, including a full 3D view of the training airport. These innovative UFA tools build the backbone of and support our “Training Anytime, Anywhere” mantra and fulfil the customers’ own needs for improved self-learning packages and remote training for students.



The Resiliency Award recognises individuals or organisations demonstrating the ability to respond and adapt quickly to a crisis, showing manoeuvrability and critical forward-thinking, or those committed to organisational and industry recovery post-pandemic.

The finalists for the Resiliency Award are:

  •         DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH for strong and flexible collaboration in times of crisis – resilience in the context of the Ukrainian war. The need arose for NATO partners to conduct extensive military flight operations through German airspace. Outstanding collaboration brought up a flexible solution, which allowed for minimum impact on civil air traffic flows. The solution supported disguised military operations and allowed civil air traffic to flow safely and with minimum disruption – even despite the broad-scale shift of traffic flows due to the Ukrainian war, the civil aviation recovery and the extensive closure of Russian airspace. The overall result was optimal use of airspace for all partners in challenging and disruptive times of crisis.


  •         HungaroControl for quickly adapting during the COVID-19 crisis. The tower traffic controllers were split into three teams that were physically separated into 12-hour shifts. The dayshift worked remotely from a digital contingency centre at HungaroControl’s head-office building. The night shift worked from the physical tower at Budapest airport. Meanwhile, the third team remained at home on standby, ready to take over if needed. At both locations, ATCOs used Indra’s InNOVA system for ground surveillance and air traffic management, ensuring all relevant information was available at both sites. At the contingency centre, the heads-down display was combined with a heads-up video wall. By using digital remote technologies, HungaroControl maintained a normal service level during the pandemic, while separating ATCO staff safely and efficiently.


  •         Irish Aviation Authority for delivering into operations the air traffic control tower at Dublin airport. Delivery to full operations was achieved efficiently and within budget despite two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Delivery of such a complex project during the middle of pandemic restrictions required flexibility and adaptability from the IAA’s staff and the contractors and suppliers involved in the project.



The Sustainability Award recognises leaders, initiatives, and organisations that are reducing aviation’s impact on the environment and making significant contributions to improving the environmental footprint of aviation through ATM.

The finalists for the Sustainability Award are:

  •         AIRBUS for developing fello’fly, a wake energy retrieval to boost environmental performance on long haul flights, fello’fly draws inspiration from the “V-shaped” flight pattern of migrating geese. Airbus, together with ATM partners DSNA, NATS, NAVCANADA, IAA, and EUROCONTROL demonstrated how sharing the skies can save airlines fuel and reduce CO2 emissions: Airbus, with partners, has performed the first long-haul demonstration of formation flight in general air traffic (GAT) regulated transatlantic airspace with two A350 aircraft flying at 1.2 NM apart, from Toulouse, France to Montreal, Canada. The aircraft were greeted at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport. Over 6 tonnes of CO2 emissions were saved on the trip, confirming the potential for more than a 5% fuel saving on long-haul flights.


  •         ENAV for taking up the challenge posed by the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Its strategy for climate change: SBTi’s validation showed that for 2021 it managed to reduce its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 24.6% and its goal for 2022 is to reduce emissions by 70% -80% and compensate for what cannot be reduced using carbon credits. ENAV will become a carbon-neutral company in 2022. ENAV is the first Italian aviation company and the only ANSP in the world to obtain the validation of its emission reduction targets by SBT.


  •         NASA Ames Research Center NASA’s Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) demonstration was a four-year (Sep 2017 – Sep 2021) field demonstration of Integrated Arrival/Departure/Surface (IADS) technologies designed to improve the predictability and efficiency of surface and departure operations. The FAA is in the process of implementing TFDM at 89 airports, of which 27 will have the advanced surface departure metering and overhead stream insertion capabilities demonstrated by ATD-2. ATD-2 validated the TFDM concept, provided knowledge and technology to the FAA and Industry, and demonstrated benefits that exceeded FAA projections for TFDM. During the four-year demonstration at CLT, ATD-2 saved more than 1.1 million gallons of fuel and 11,600 tons of CO2. The FAA projects annual CO2 savings of 75,000 tonnes when TFDM is fully implemented.



“We were pleased to receive so many incredible submissions in this second pandemic year. They are a testament to how important our work is to safety, efficiency, and innovation in ATM,” said CANSO Director General Simon Hocquard. “My congratulations to all those who submitted, especially those that made the shortlist. We look forward to honouring your achievements and celebrating our success!”


A special thank you to our renowned panel of judges: Gabriela Logatto, Chief Executive Officer, Argentina ANSP; Conor Mullan, Director, Think Research, MD and Owner; Massimo Garbini, Frequentis ATM Board Member; Vijay Narula, President & CEO, Optimal Solutions and Technologies; Brian R. Bruckbauer, President and CEO, Air Traffic Control Association; and Simon Hocquard, Director General, CANSO.


The winner of each category will be announced at World ATM Congress 2022 in Madrid, Spain during the Maverick Awards Ceremony, held from 15:00 – 16:00 Wednesday, 22 June, in Wing ATM Theatre. The Awards ceremony will be hosted by ATCA’s President and CEO Brian R. Bruckbauer and CANSO’s Director General Simon Hocquard. Registration for the event is free. To learn more and register, visit www.worldatmcongress.org.


For more information, contact Deborah Brice.


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