This was the world’s largest international air traffic management (ATM) exhibition and conference – World ATM Congress. More than 6,000 delegates from 110 countries gathered safely in Madrid. The event was inaugurated by His Majesty the King of Spain, in evidence of the air sector resiliency and recovery. “Spain is a gateway to the world, so air transport has huge strategic and economic importance throughout the country. And nothing exemplifies that more than being able to host World ATM Congress,” he said. “Being able to organise this conference once again is solid proof that we are witnessing steady and sustained recovery of the entire air sector, of which Spain is a standard bearer.”
Following the trend of co-locating events, this was the first time that the event featured Spain’s premier drone event, Expodrónica, and partnered with UMILES, Spain’s largest consortium of unmanned aerial systems (UAS, drones in daily language) companies.
More than 170 companies exhibited, and the educational offering featured 120 sessions and 200 speakers spread out in seven theatres. The three days of the event were packed with educational sessions, product demonstrations and launches, contract closures (business is back!), and network building. The event hosted product developers, air navigation service providers (ANSPs), air traffic controllers, and leading academic experts.
The Expodrónica Pavilion showed the sky of the future, as drones are emerging as a key means of transportation, observation, safety for tomorrow. And the event included a demo of drones in a nearby air base (see photo).
The event was organised with a strict hygiene protocol, as well as with tightened security due to the event’s high-profile visitors. Some of the COVID safety measures included a strict mask mandate for indoor use and seated options for all food and beverage related services. IFEMA took temperature checks upon entry while offering enhanced ventilation in the halls. The organisers also requested either a COVID certificate or a negative test.