US Department of Defence joins the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation

The US Department of Defence (DoD), represented by the DoD Policy Board on Federal Aviation (PBFA), has joined the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) as an associate member.

Assistant secretary of defence for networks and information integration John Grimes, who is also the DoD's chief information officer, made a formal announcement in this regard on Friday 21 September.

Membership in CANSO enables the DoD to address the network-centric environment that links air traffic management and air security systems, Grimes said. The move is part of DoD's strategy to participate in the worldwide effort to create a new era of global collaboration in air navigation services.

As a CANSO associate member, the PBFA will represent the DoD's views about the US National Airspace System, as a partner with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The PBFA provides strategic vision and policy for the DoD's participation in US and global air transportation systems. It is also the primary point of contact between the DoD and the Department of Transportation on domestic and international civil aviation issues.

CANSO is the 'voice' of the world's air traffic management community. Its air navigation service providers manage over 80 per cent of the world's air traffic. It works to enable the world's air transport systems to meet the demands of growing traffic in a safe, efficient and environmentally sustainable manner.

Alongside the FAA, the DoD is an air navigation service provider within the national airspace system, as well as one of the largest operators of aircraft in the world. It has over 150 facilities (tower, radar, or combination) including overseas, in Afghanistan, Germany, the UK, Guam, Honduras, Italy, Iraq, Japan and Qatar.

The DoD employs over 9,000 uniformed, civilian and contract controllers. In the US national airspace system, the DoD is responsible for over 13 million traffic movements, of which 23 to 25 per cent comprise commercial and general aviation.