August 9, 2007 - The U.S. has built nine navigation systems for Mexico and Canada under the controversial Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America in an apparent first step toward establishing the satellite infrastructure needed to create a North American air traffic control system.
The defining vision for North American air traffic control was articulated by then-Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta in a September 27, 2004 statement, announcing, "We must make flying throughout North America as seamless as possible if we are to truly reap the rewards of the expanding global economy."
The “2006 Report to Leaders”, posted on the SPP website, proclaimed, "In order to increase navigational accuracy across the region, five Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) stations were installed in Canada and Mexico in 2005."
WAAS is a space-based augmentation system that provides precision navigation information to aircraft equipped with Global Positioning Satellite/WAAS receivers through all phases of flight.
Working through the North American Aviation Trilateral, the U.S. has built for Mexico, WAAS stations at five locations: Mexico City, San Jose del Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Merida and Tapachula.
Additionally, the U.S., working through NATT, has built four Canadian WAAS stations, at Iqaluit, Gander, Winnipeg and Goose Bay.
Discussions are underway to create a North American Air Traffic Control System, complete with Federal Aviation Administration issuance of WAAS certifications for Canadian and Mexican airspace. According to a government official who specializes in satellite technology applied to air traffic control systems, it would involve Canadian and Mexican foreign nationals not only hosting but operating and maintaining U.S. air navigation equipment as part of a continental Global Navigation Satellite System.
The vision would permit Mexican and Canadian air traffic controllers to operate within North American airspace as if they simply were operating from a U.S. city.