Edited by Jeff Muskus, Dim­i­tra Kessenides, and Matthew Philips Bloomberg.com

Bloomberg Businessweek (Europe) - - TECHNOLOGY - The bot­tom line The suc­cess of Canada’s sys­tem has led some U.S. law­mak­ers to push for par­tial pri­va­ti­za­tion of the FAA’s air traf­fic divi­sion.

in­tro­duced fea­tures such as a midair col­li­sion warn­ing and a pro­gram for con­trollers and pi­lots to send each other text mes­sages in­stead of re­ly­ing on crowded ra­dio chan­nels.

The pa­per­less tower sys­tem trans­mits data on in­di­vid­ual flights in­stantly to other con­trollers, mak­ing the co­or­di­na­tion of flights across re­gions eas­ier. It en­hances safety by no­ti­fy­ing con­trollers of con­struc­tion on run­ways and other ob­sta­cles. And NAV CANADA gives en­gi­neers more free­dom to tin­ker with func­tion­al­ity dur­ing de­vel­op­ment, Trout­man and Koslow say.

“By tran­si­tion­ing away from a man­ual, pa­per-based sys­tem, con­trollers are able to con­cen­trate more on the vis­ual sur­veil­lance of the air­port and air­craft,” says Sarah Ful­ton, spokes­woman for Airser­vices Aus­tralia, a govern­ment cor­po­ra­tion that over­sees air traf­fic. NAV CANADA has in­stalled its tower soft­ware at four of Aus­tralia’s air­ports and has signed con­tracts to put in four more.

NAV CANADA re­cently showed off an­other new sys­tem that al­lows con­trollers to log in to work and re­ceive pre-shift brief­ings on an iPad, re­plac­ing sign-in sheets and binders. The com­pany is a ma­jor­ity part­ner in U.S.-based Aireon, which was formed to con­struct a space-based sys­tem of track­ing planes that will for the first time work in the world’s most re­mote oceans and po­lar re­gions.

U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bill Shus­ter, a Penn­syl­va­nia Repub­li­can who chairs the House’s Trans­porta­tion & In­fras­truc­ture Com­mit­tee, re­peat­edly cites NAV CANADA’s suc­cess when he calls for par­tial pri­va­ti­za­tion of the FAA’s air traf­fic divi­sion. Op­po­si­tion to the idea from Democrats and some lead­ing House Repub­li­cans has pre­vented Shus­ter’s pro­posal from mov­ing for­ward. He has vowed to keep push­ing. Alan Levin

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