Washington, DC – In case you missed it, in spite of all the rhetoric pushed by proponents in the US that privatization in Canada has resulted in a completely modernized, space-based air traffic control system, Nav Canada just recently posted an article announcing that it will begin the largest capital project ever undertaken to upgrade eleven ground-based radar systems at a cost of $159 million over the next 10 years.
According to the blog posting on NavCanada’s website, “the current radar systems are over 30 years old. Due to their age, various electronic components are becoming obsolete and parts are sometimes difficult to replace. Each radar upgrade will improve reliability, advance the exchange of data, lower maintenance costs and mitigate potential service outages.” http://blog.navcanada.ca/rada
Despite the claims of air traffic control privatization proponents in the US that privatization in Canada has resulted in new, modernized systems that are superior than the US, the truth is that, like many air traffic control systems around the world, many aspects of Nav Canada’s air traffic control system technology are still in the process of being upgraded, and some still even predate the existence of NAV Canada.
The article also states that even with space-based ADS-B, ground-based radar is still a “key surveillance source” in specific areas of the country. While Nav Canada is still testing its space-based system, ADS-B in the US is operational with coverage across the country.
This just once again proves that the move to privatize our airspace is not about modernization, it’s about control, and handing our nation’s skies over to the big airlines will do nothing to alleviate the delays and travel woes that passengers face on an almost constant basis.