This Web page has been archived on the Web.

1996 November Report of the Auditor General of Canada

November 1996 Report—Chapter 24

Exhibit 24.5—What is the Canadian Automated Air Traffic Control System (CAATS)?

Transport Canada provides the following description:

"Among the most ambitious transportation technology projects ever undertaken in this country, the Canadian Automated Air Traffic System (CAATS) will automate flight data processing between all major air traffic control facilities nation-wide - managing flight traffic over 5.8 million square miles of Canadian airspace. This modern Air Traffic Control (ATC) system will replace existing Air Navigation Services (ANS) infrastructure, and will set worldwide standards for air safety, capacity, and efficiency.

"Upon completion, CAATS will be installed in Canada's seven Area Control Centres (ACCs), 23 Control Towers, the Ottawa and Calgary Remote Terminal Control Units (RTCUs) and three support sites - the Transport Canada Training Institute (TCTI) in Cornwall, Ontario; and the Technical Systems Centre (TSC) and the Research and Experimentation Centre (REC) in Ottawa.

"CAATS is being designed to provide a paperless, automated flight data environment for air traffic controllers. In contrast to today's array of disparate digital and analog communication interfaces that clutter a controller's workstation - the result of grafting newer onto older systems over several decades - the CAATS Common Controller Workstation (CCWS) combines radar and flight information display in a single interface, which will result in increased controller effectiveness and efficiency. This paperless flight data processing and display system automates non-critical, labour-intensive tasks and furnishes data according to mission-critical criteria defined in consultation with the Canadian air traffic control community. With CAATS, each controller will be able to instantly access this flight data on CCWS screens without the need for a manual system. Currently, controllers mark the movement of an aircraft by handing a paper strip containing specific flight information for that aircraft from one controller to the next.

"By automating time-consuming manual tasks such as flight plan and routine data communications, and by automatically providing data to controllers when and where they need it, CAATS will give controllers more time to safely and efficiently manage the airspace for which they are responsible. In addition, automation will allow controllers to cope with today's increasing air traffic while maintaining high standards of safety. CAATS will also bring significant benefits to the aviation industry in reduced traffic delays, more energy-efficient routes, and improved aircraft movement information and flight planning services."

Source: Transport Canada