..."Independence" For ATC Needed
May also said the air traffic control system needs operational and funding independence from the FAA and that likely means some form of privatization. "We need to establish a level of independence for the ATC system," he said, citing Canada's transfer of ATC to NAV CANADA, a private company, as an example. "It's got to have independence of action and thought," May told AVweb in a later interview. Jim Gouk, a Canadian member of Parliament, told the meeting Canada would be happy to help the U.S. make the transition. May also said the U.S. system needs to be financially independent. Rather than be subject to the political whims of Congress, May said the restructured ATC system should have the ability to go to the bond market to raise capital for the massive investment required to modernize the system. He said new technology would allow the restructured system to operate from five to six strategically placed centers across the U.S., instead of the current 23, and to close many of the terminal radar approach control (TRACON) facilities.