Nav Canada

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Nav Canada
TypeNon-share capital corporation/ Statutory
IndustryCivil aviation
HeadquartersOttawa, Ontario, Canada
ProductsCivil air navigation
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Nav Canada
TypeNon-share capital corporation/ Statutory
IndustryCivil aviation
HeadquartersOttawa, Ontario, Canada
ProductsCivil air navigation
Nav Canada Headquarters in the Commonwealth Building at 77 Metcalfe Street Ottawa, ON K1P 5L6 Canada
The Nav Canada control tower in Saskatoon

Nav Canada is a privately run, not-for-profit corporation that owns and operates Canada's civil air navigation system (ANS). It was established in accordance with the Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act (ANS Act).

The company employs approximately 2,000 air traffic controllers (ATCs), 800 flight service specialists (FSSs) and 700 technologists. It has been responsible for the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic in Canadian airspace since November 1, 1996 when the government transferred the ANS from Transport Canada to Nav Canada. As part of the transfer, or privatization, Nav Canada paid the government CA$1.5 billion.[1]

Nav Canada manages 12 million aircraft movements a year for 40,000 customers in over 18 million square kilometres, making it the world’s second-largest ANSP by traffic volume.[2]

Nav Canada, which operates independently of any government funding,[2] is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario.[3] It is only allowed to be funded by publicly traded debt and service charges to aircraft operators.


Nav Canada's operations consist of various sites across the country. These include:

NAV Canada has three facilities not located at an airport:

Corporate governance[edit]

A de Havilland Canada DHC-8-102 Dash 8 used for flight inspection at Cambridge Bay Airport in 2014

As a non-share capital corporation, Nav Canada has no shareholders. The company is governed by a 15 member board of directors representing the four stakeholder groups that founded Nav Canada. The four stakeholders appoint 10 members as follows:

Air carriers4
General and business aviation1
Federal government3
Bargaining agents (unions)2

These 10 directors then elect four independent directors, with no ties to the stakeholder groups. Those 14 directors then appoint the president and chief executive officer who becomes the 15th board member.

This structure ensures that the interests of individual stakeholders do not predominate and no member group could exert undue influence over the remainder of the board.[7] To further ensure that the interests of Nav Canada are served, these board members cannot be active employees or members of airlines, unions, or government.[8]

2008–09 Recession[edit]

Nav Canada felt the impact of the late-2000s recession in two ways: losses in its investments in third party sponsored asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) and falling revenues due to reduced air traffic levels.

In the summer of 2007, a significant portion of the company’s cash and cash equivalents were held in ABCP. On 13 August, Coventree Inc., the largest issuer of ABCP [9] announced that their maturing notes had become illiquid. On 22 August 2007 NAV CANADA disclosed it held about $368 million in ABCP but also had another $130 million in cash and access to $565 million in credit. The company said it was in compliance with all of its financial covenants and did not expect the problems affecting the ABCP market to have a material adverse impact on its business.[10]

On 12 January 2009 final Ontario Superior Court of Justice approval was granted to restructure the third party ABCP notes whereupon new notes were issued that match the maturity of the assets within the ABCP.[11]

The company’s latest financial quarterly report states that “as at November 30, 2013, the fair value of the company’s investments in ABCP restructured and non-restructured notes is $269 million on holdings with a face value of $307 million.”[12] The company expects that the non-credit related fair value variances from face value on restructured and non-restructured ABCP (amounting cumulatively to $33 at November 30, 2013) will be recovered by the time the notes mature in fiscal 2017.[13]


By fiscal year end 2013, the company’s revenues reached $1,231 million, marginally exceeding the pre-recession level.[14]

On January 10, 2014, John Crichton, President and CEO of Nav Canada commented:

We have witnessed a continuation of the fledgling recovery in traffic volumes that began in the third quarter of fiscal 2013. And while the airline industry is projecting overall growth in 2014, forecasts for growth in North America are more modest and we must remain vigilant in controlling our costs.[15]

Nav Canada’s revenues before rate stabilization for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 were $308 million, compared to $301 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013.[15]


  1. ^ Transport Canada (October 1996). "Government transfers air navigation system to Nav Canada". Retrieved 21 Apr 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Nav Canada (n.d.). "Meet NAV CANADA". Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Contact Us." Nav Canada. Retrieved on December 31, 2010. "Address - Head Office: 77 Metcalfe Street Ottawa, ON K1P 5L6" - Address in French: "Adresse du siège social: 77, rue Metcalfe Ottawa (Ontario) K1P 5L6."
  4. ^ a b c d Nav Canada (November 2014). "Facility Map". Retrieved 2014-11-13. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Nav Canada (n.d.). "Nav Centre". Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  7. ^ Sheridan, John (2009-01-01). "Former CBAA executive to join Nav Canada board". Aviation International News. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  8. ^ Poole, Robert; Butler, Viggo (September 2002), Nav Canada – A MODEL FOR COMMERCIALIZING PUBLIC ENTERPRISES, Frontier Centre for Public Policy 
  9. ^ Kingsbury, Kevin (23 August 2007). "Coventree's Short-Term Revenue Takes Hit From Market Turmoil". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  10. ^ TRICHUR, RITA (23 August 2007). "Firms disclosing exposure". Toronto Star. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "$32B Restructuring of Canadian Third-Party Structured ABCP". Lexpert Magazine. July 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  12. ^ / "NAV CANADA announces first quarter financial results". NAV CANADA website. January 10, 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "NAV CANADA MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS, THREE MONTHS ENDED NOVEMBER 30, 2013". NAV CANADA website. January 9, 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "NAV CANADA announces year end financial results". NAV CANADA website. October 18, 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "NAV CANADA announces first quarter financial results". NAV CANADA website. January 10, 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 

External links[edit]