Nav Canada

As La Guardia closes due to the government shutdown, this seems like an opportune time to think about Nav Canada.

We are Canada’s Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) managing 3.3 million flights a year for 40,000 customers in over 18 million square kilometres – the world’s second-largest ANSP by traffic volume.

Our airspace stretches from the Pacific West coast to the East coast of Newfoundland and out to the centre of the North Atlantic, the world’s busiest oceanic airspace with some 1,200 flights crossing to and from the European continent daily. It also stretches from the busy U.S-Canada border with major international airports to the North Pole where aircraft fly polar routes to reach Asia.

We are also the world’s first fully privatized civil air navigation service provider, created in 1996 through the combined efforts of commercial air carriers, general aviation, the Government of Canada, as well as our employees and their unions.

Our revenues come from our aviation customers, not government subsidies. By investing in operations and controlling costs, we strive to keep customer charges stable, while improving safety and flight efficiency.

In addition to Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom have moved in recent decades towards a more private system based on user fees rather than government funding. See also my earlier post on European airports.


So that is it. While Brazil rises to the occasion and becomes a world leader, America collapses and becomes a failed state unable to fly airplanes. Sad.

Yes, Brazil becoming a world leader, that's absolutely going to happen. Well spotted!

Maybe you should study President Captain Bolsonaro's ideas and reforms. As a famous American Literature Nobel Prize winner pointed out, "For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'".

Most of the federal government could be privatized. It would save billions and improve productivity.

Brazil has already decided to sell nillions of dollars in state assets.

If Brazil was truly a world leader, it would find a way to attack the evil Red Chinese with a nuclear strike. It would also be a good idea to destroy Tokyo and so called New Delhi. For the sake of the free world.

One must remember Brazil gave up nuclear weapons development in the 1980's for the world peace's sake. The tacit understandment was that Americans, who already had the bombs and an Empire that profited from the status quo, would protect the global order. Instead, they, like modern Labans, sold their firstborn right in exchange for a mess of trinkets.

Isn't it time for Brazil to take up the mantle of global protector from Asian fascism? If my country the United States will not do the job, Brazil must!

Please do not say that Brazil is incapable fo this, I have read that Brazilian scientists are among the most famous in the world. Brazil invented the airplane, the telegraph, and discovered the pion. Surely they can create the weapons needed to destroy the millions of Chinese, Japanese, and Indians that we must to prserve world peace! Please do not tell me that Brazil will shrink from this duty, now that America has collapsed under the contradictions of its regime.

It may come to this. If America doesn't act, Brazil may have to open the gates of Hell.

Please do not delay! Every day those millions of perfidious Chinese and Japanese and Indians still live and breathe is a day closer to the destruction of the free world. They must be killed, and quickly.

So thst is it: America has deseted its duty.

Will Brazil desert hers? Now is the time for the greatest nations to step into the breach that the Americans are deserting. Is Bolsonaro up to the task? Who will save the West?

There need to be millions of dead Asian men, women, and children so those countries learn not to attack us anymore.

Brazil can save the world if the need arises.

So the need hasn't arisen yet. Why are you always talking about it then?

America is a failed state. Brazil apparently is a cowardly one.

Not true at all. It is necessary to act with caution, lest the Red aggressor try to avoid its own doom. Things would be much easier and faster if those who actually already have nuclear weapons, did their job.

Which is it? Act with caution or deploy the nuclear weapons? I agree America should do what needs to be done, but as you have mentioned many times America has collapsed under the contrdictions of its regime. But Brazil cannot rise up while America falters?

Maybe Argentina is right, Brazilians are afraid of the fight! Caution? You are a modern day Neville Chamberlain!

Time to privatize the TSA, that's for sure.


You beat me to it.

You forget it was private...before 9/11. Wonder why the government stepped in?

Privatized passenger screening really worked well to promote Dick Cheney's military foriegn policy objectives.

Privatizing the TSA would certainly justify increasing the military budget 50% to support several new wars to further GOP pork barrel spending objectives.

As for privatizing ATC, eliminating private aviation is desirable why?

The air traffic in the US air space is higher than any other nation, and the highest over urban areas than almost all globally, but no other nation has overlapping dense urban air spaces like along the east coast.

To track air traffic, the FAA has been trying to go from passive tracking to active tracking, but that requires every plane flying in urban air spaces install a transponder. Technology progress has cut the cost of the minimal conforming hardware to $1000-2000, but labor costs of installing and certifying it increase the cost to probably at least $5000 per plane. Commerial aircraft spend at least $50,000 but thats to integrate lots of new ATC automation features into existing navigation systems, plus the pilot training.

The final rules requiring this were finally issued in in 2010, but last data is more than half of all aircraft will not be equipped to fly 11 months from now. Of course, the shutdown is likely delaying many parts of the implentation, especially training of ATC workers, as well as limiting the ability of private contractors installing ground system hardware.

To be clear, in Canada it's a co-op not a for profit enterprise. How would a co-op work in the US? Brookings: "Some stakeholders have questioned whether the Nav Canada model is scalable to an aviation system as large and diverse as the one in this country. However, the U.S. air traffic control system is already large, and there is nothing about a user cooperative approach that limits its scale. To the contrary, the larger and more complex the system, the more important it is to have a commercially driven operator, particularly one with built-in incentives for efficiency. As for “diversity,” meaning the ability of small airports and the general aviation users who rely on them to access the air traffic network, a user cooperative is a non-profit corporation in which the stakeholders are the “owners.” Thus, access is one of the organization’s bottom line goals (along with efficiency and safety)."

Good one, as privatized roads in the USA and elsewhere have rarely raised a profit, so, a "non-profit" is the way to go, albeit without competition you'll probably see such an entity become as inefficient as a government agency over time.

The idea is that the co-op is owned by competing airlines and, hence, has an incentive to be efficient so that the airlines are efficient.

I'm strongly in favor, but are there ways the co-op could lock out new participants?

Like require all aircraft install ADS-B Out transponder by Jan 1, 2020? All the major air carriers operating in Canada are required to install it because they operate in the US, so driving that mandate would eliminate about half the aircraft competing for landing slots at major Canadian airports.

Instead, NAV CANADA is still studying the issue.

It is a customer of Iridium to expand coverage for ADS-B equipped aircraft. Otherwise, it can't track aircraft over most of Canada because the Canadian military does not provide radar coverage for all of Canada, and even what it does provide is not reliable. NAV CANADA does not seem to invest much in capital or automation. Or mandates. Too costly.

Yes and no.

In Australia we have a cost recovering economically regulated ATC operator (AirServices Australia). It’s not owned by airlines, but it does recover all its costs from airlines from charges on users.

The issue is how cost reflective those charges are. The current tariff arrangement heavily charges international airlines, domestic airlines less so, and charges general aviation (GA) very little by comparison. This is justified by saying that international airlines have a greater capacity to pay, and GA has much less.

So it’s not locking out new entrants per se. The issue (at least in australia) is one of equity. However, if you had an ATC operator owned by airlines who could set tariff arrangements as the current operators saw fit, then I wouldn’t be surprised if they chose to use those rules to lock our new entrants. It already happens with landing slot allocations, a policy which is explicitly endorsed by IATA.

This is just me. Whenever I see the word "stakeholders" my bullshit detector ring burns my finger.

This could be done for the USDA as well: an industry co-op providing food inspection services and promulgating uniform standards, so the costs are passed on to the actual consumers instead of socialized among the taxpayers.

While we're here, I'm having trouble thinking of a sector where this couldn't be done.

But, then the worst political class in History would have less opportunity for graft and vote purchasing.

The food industry pays for inspections required in processing. But not for spot inspections where inspection is not part of proccessing. The food industry does not want to pay for added inspections.

But they do not want to be liable, creating limited partnerships, etc to ensure they pay nothing when they cause harm from unsanitary processing, etc, which spot checking is supposed to deter.

Would you support making mandatory private food safety inspection services legally liable for all harms caused from bad food they certify, requiring sufficient capital set assides and reinsurance? That would certainly increase costs by replacinng government lawyers, taxpayer caoital, and government insurance by fragmented harm mitigation programs, like Medicaid, public hospitals, etc.

I can personally vouch for the fact that manufacturers and distributors of bad food are sued by lawyers, working on contingency, for all damages caused by the defective product, and that they or their insurers will pay.

Strange you did not mention Switzerland's Skyguide air traffic control company.

Or maybe not so strange, considering this event - 'The two aircraft were flying at flight level 360 (36,000 feet, 10,973 m) on a collision course. Despite being just inside the German border, the airspace was controlled from Zürich, Switzerland, by the private Swiss airspace control company Skyguide. The only air traffic controller handling the airspace, Peter Nielsen, was working two workstations at the same time. ..... Only one air traffic controller, Peter Nielsen of ACC Zurich, was controlling the airspace through which the aircraft were flying. The other controller on duty was resting in another room for the night. This was against SkyGuide's regulations but had been a common practice for years and was known and tolerated by management.'

But don't worry, the company learned from this event - 'On July 1st, two aircraft collide over Überlingen on Lake Constance. 71 people die. The tragic dimension of this accident and of the subsequent events profoundly changes the understanding of safety in Swiss and international aviation. Our safety management and culture take a major step ahead.'

A major step likely helped by the fact that four Skyguide managers were convicted of manslaughter. Though one wouldn't want to start establishing any precedents that managers are responsible for anything beyond enhancing profits.

What you don't understand is that the way this game works is: when a public agency screws up, it's evidence that government is bad, but when private companies screw up, it's also evidence that government is bad.

@mw -good point, I also recall a mid-air collision involving a hapless Swiss air traffic controller where the irate, crazy Russian father of one of the victims tracked down the controller and killed him. They made a movie (or were planning to) about it.

Skyguide is a free rider treating air traffic control as a software problem where the Swiss can profit selling to other nations by using Indian programmers. Operating switly and agilely they will deliver software after 2022 using hardware developed under decades of US government pressure that will be installed by US and EU mandates on aircraft owners by 2020, airport hardware mandates, and government spending on hardware for both in part or in whole.

Aircraft should have collision avoidance, cars have it. Aircraft send out beacons, this problem cam up 40 yeas ago, and was solved. Nor is there any reason a plan cannot get information from either controller, we have that capability, its called the internet. A friggen passenger could have spotted the potential collission on a smart phone.

Suddenly a quick search, on the web:

Having up-to-date tracking information about when a flight will take off or land at an airport can come in handy. Waiting to pick up someone from the airport or trying to make a flight connection, airline tracking tools can save you time and even money.

"Here are five great airline tracker apps for iOS and Android devices along with four sites to track a flight in real-time."

As a passenger, I could have put up this comment, searched the web, downloaded the app, discovered the potential collision and warned the pilot.

I dont think so. I tracked my daughters flight from Spain to LA, and when she was 15 minutes from "landing" she gave me a call, said she had just reached the concourse and was heading for her bags.

Flight tracking display has a built in delay .

Now that government is running, *now* is the time to create your privatisation bill .. but frankly 2017 or 2018 was the better window.

Conservatives are now busy mounting defenses against 70% marginal tax rares, even wealth taxes .. things they never would have faced if they had shown people that they knew how to run a government.

The pendulum is swinging hard, because the failure was pretty epic.

Thank goodness most people's private healthcare is inoculated from the political process, unlike TSA and ATC. (And, no, it makes no difference that Medicare is not part of annual appropriations. There is nothing to stop Medicare from becoming entangled in future political negotiations, about the Wall or anything else.) It's one thing to have a flight delayed due to political gamesmanship. It's quite another to be waiting for Congress and the President to reach a deal so that one can receive medical treatment.

Just as some people think that any healthcare system should provide coverage for pre-existing conditions, another even more important requirement should be that no one's healthcare should ever depend on the actions of any politician, whether it's the President, Congress, or some government agency. Everyone has a fundamental right to have their healthcare protected from politics. Private health plans already provide such protections; any reform proposals should be required to preserve those protections.

Or we could just pass regulator appropriations bills. By this logic, we should privatize every government function (instead of passing regular appropriations bills). I realize that's the Libertarians' dream, but it doesn't appeal to the rest of us.

That's "regular" appropriations bills. I blame my new keyboard.

All of the most real "services" of the gov't should include a) cost coverage thru user fees, and b) acceptance / legalization of competition. (Where there is some gov't monopoly service, with or without user fees, a similar private service should be legal and allowed).

Outsourcing the operations, including IT, with some remaining oversight from the government to set requirements seems like the best of both worlds, with fees paid by the airlines to cover the costs. The airlines can be part of the oversight process. And to other comments, yes there MANY areas of gov. where this can work. Each Gov agency today has it's own back office shared service group for example (not even shared across agencies!).

[[dr.mack201@ gmail. com]] was the email i contacted when my wife left me. After spell casting my wife came back quickly. Keep up the good work
Hanna Brian

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