Washington, Apr 23 : Commercialisation of air traffic control organizations can significantly improve performance with respect to cost, safety, and technical modernization, says a new study.
The research led Glen McDougall, President of MBS Ottawa Inc. and Senior Fellow at George Mason University analysed the performance of ten international commercial ANSPs from 1997 to 2004 and compared them to the benchmark of a government department, the United States Federal Aviation Administration.
They performed a quantitative analysis of data by the ANSPs, which was verified by safety regulators and also reviewed the legal descriptions of the governance structure of each of the commercial ATC organizations.
Moreover, more than two hundred interviews were conducted with senior managers of the ATC organizations, union representatives, regulators, policy officials, and airline customers.
The findings revealed that the reforms were effective when governance design limits government micro-management, involves customers in decision-making, and ensures effective government oversight of safety.
The costs were reduced, service quality has improved, and several ANSPs have modernized workplace technologies.
"This research will have significance on the long term governance arrangements of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which remains a government department," said the authors.
"The FAA exhibits many of the restraints on performance that affected air traffic control provision in other countries before commercialisation," they added.
This study is published in the March 2008 issue of Canadian Public Administration.