www.wingsmagazine.com

Features Air Traffic
Five Years After Commercialization, Nav Canada Proves it is a World Leader

Just over five years ago, Nav Canada was formed as a not-for-profit entity.


October 3, 2007
By Raymon J. Kanduck

Topics

49-towerJust over five years ago, Nav Canada was formed as a not-for-profit
entity. It was a bold move.Around the world, virtually every Air
Navigation System (ANS) was run by each country's government. The
rigidities of civil service control tended to produce systems that were
unresponsive to customer requirements and in which capital expenditures
were tied to political rather than operational goals.

Some governments adopted halfway solutions, creating special
operating agencies to manage the systems. This approach would gain some
of the benefits of privatization without the political effort required.

Canada was different. After much consultation, a near consensus
emerged, supported by airlines, general aviation groups and even air
traffic controllers. The ANS would be ‘commercialized', which meant
that it would be operated as a business, but not owned by shareholders
out to make a profit.

When Nav Canada was formed in late 1996, expectations were high.
Cliff Mackay, president of the Air Transport Association of Canada
(ATAC), says it has met or exceeded most of these: "The industry is
pleased the way that Nav Canada has evolved. It has been responsible on
costs and tried to keep fees down.After the initial fees were set,
there was a reduction and it was only recently, after September 11,
that we saw an increase.We were pleased that they did everything they
could to mitigate the negative effects, and with the professional way
that they communicated this to their customers."