Nav Canada plans major investment projects

by Canadian Shipper

Nav will invest $115 million in improved safety, service and technology in the current fiscal year, adding to the $500 million already invested in Canada’s Air Navigation Service since November 1996. A significant portion of this investment will be focused on improving safety and service in Canada’s North.

NAV CANADA is establishing two new Flight Information Centres in the North, to provide enhanced weather briefing, flight planning and enroute flight information services. These centres, to be operational in the next two-three years, will be located at Whitehorse and Yellowknife, as well as the existing centre in North Bay.

“The North is central to NAV CANADA’s mandate of providing essential air navigation services across this country. In the current year, our total investment and expenditures in the North, including capital projects, amount to approximately $70 million,” said John Crichton, president and chief executive officer.

In addition, the company has increased the number of Community Aerodrome Radio Stations in the North from 40 to 48 over the last three years. These air navigation facilities are staffed by Northerners, funded by NAV CANADA and provide basic advisory and communications service to pilots at northern airports, in conjunction with territorial governments.

The company is also investing in new radar sites at Yellowknife and Kuujjuaq, to become operational this summer. Nav Canada says both radar installations will improve safety and service for overflight enroute traffic, as well as providing significant improvements in safety and traffic flows for customers operating in and around these locations. Two additional sites are planned for Iqaluit and La Ronge, and at least five additional northern sites are under active consideration.

NAV CANADA has also introduced a number of technology innovations that so far exist only in Canada. These include the new Canadian Automated Air Traffic System for the automation of flight data, and its associated family of air traffic controller displays; the new Extended Computer Display System, automating flight data in air traffic control towers; and the Gander Automated Air Traffic System, for Oceanic Air
Traffic Control.

“There is interest around the world in these and other NAV CANADA systems. We are in discussions with several international organizations about possible purchases of our systems,” said Crichton.

Nav Canada is also involved in a project to re-sectorize the airspace in Canada, resulting in smoother traffic flows, less hand-offs, and improvements in the matching of staff to traffic. The Atlantic Canada portion of this project is already completed.

The company is also planning to begin deployment, later this year, of its new Flight Information Centres in southern Canada, beginning in Halifax. This project promises to deliver the same benefits as the new Flight Information Centres in the North – including enhanced weather briefing, flight planning and enroute services, with much wider access to these services across the country.

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