Interview with... Peter Kearney

CEO Air Nav Ireland

[Cleared n°8 - anno XX - August/September 2023]

Cleared August/September 2023

You have recently gone through an important evolution in the company from IAA to AirNav Ireland. Can you tell us about the processes you followed, the challenges and the objectives you achieved?

Certainly, the level of interest in this topic from both at home and abroad has really surprised me, and I would be delighted to share some key insights with you.  Earlier this year, we established Europe’s newest Air Navigation Service Provider when we transitioned from the Air Navigation Service Provider within the Irish Aviation Authority to the standalone commercial entity AirNav Ireland. This transition relied on new domestic legislation and reflects best practice internationally, but it was not without challenges and there were many hurdles we had to overcome to deliver this reform. The end goal was of course to ensure that under our new identity, AirNav Ireland, we can continue to focus on our airline customers in terms of both our commitment to safety, efficiency, reliability and sustainability. 

A significant emphasis on strategic planning was required which in turn led to a particular focus on dedicated internal and external communications. We had to juggle a number of new tasks ranging from legal and regulatory compliance to rebranding, while continuing to provide the 24-7 service. We had to ensure the transition was seamless from a customers and supplier perspective, while ensuring employees remained engaged, informed and prepared. Brand recognition required a lot of attention because we knew we knew how important it was to ensure our new identity was synonymous with trust and reliability. I am firmly of the view that we used this opportunity to enhance our visibility and reputation, while increasing collaboration and focusing on efficiencies. The end result is that we are now better positioned to serve the aviation industry and contribute to its growth and safety.


AirNav is one of the most advanced and dynamic ANSPs in Europe, what operational and technical challenges are high in your agenda?

We are constantly striving on a daily basis to create a safer environment for our customers. One of our key priorities at the moment alongside our partners in COOPANS is ensuring that our ATM system is availing of the most recent technological advancements and fit for the Digital European Sky. Of course, CP1 compliance had been at the forefront of all our agendas and soon we will prepare for the next iteration of the ATM Masterplan and the various requirements that will come with it. We have had success this year in our submission to develop a digital sky demonstrator, which will not be without challenges, but ticks all of the future boxes in terms of the future direction of our industry.


AirNav is very active in the international domain and you are also the Chair of A6 Alliance. The role of ANSPs is changing, how can technology and cooperation among ANSPs help in achieving objectives for the future?

European ANSPs are very much interconnected, and this extends to other key operational stakeholders such as airlines and airports – the manner in which the industry has bounced back from the pandemic is remarkable particularly given the number of stakeholders involved and the reality that any one stakeholder can be a single point of failure. Whether you look at operational factors such as the performance of the network in terms of meeting capacity, or technical factors associated with deployment requirements across Europe, it becomes very clear that European ANSPs have a lot more in common than what meets the eye. The SESAR Deployment and Infrastructure Partnership will remain a critical and valued stakeholder in assisting the main players in deploying the key technologies at the right time.

Cleared August/September 2023