U.S., Canadian Air-Traffic Control Compared


Delta Air Lines’ Steve Dickson seriously misrepresents reality when he claims that the FAA delivers better results than other air-traffic-control providers (Letters, June 18). Data from the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (Canso) for 2014 shows that the FAA’s cost per instrument flight rules flight hour is $450, much higher than NAV Canada’s $340 (prices in U.S. dollars). One might expect that the FAA, with nine times more traffic than NAV Canada, would have higher productivity, but the numbers say otherwise: NAV Canada achieves 1,760 flight hours per controller a year versus 1,725 for the FAA.

Mr. Dickson also claims that the FAA leads in next-generation ATC technology. In fact, Canada and the North Atlantic airspace it manages already have controller-pilot digital messaging, which the FAA hopes to have in service by early next decade. NAV Canada is also the leader in bringing about global space-based flight surveillance via its investment with Iridium NEXT in the global company Aireon, which will launch the first of its 66 satellites this year. Mr. Dickson touts Delta’s participation with other stakeholders on an FAA advisory committee, but it recently voted against the FAA making plans to join this global effort.


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