Chapter 8: The Organisational Re-design of Canada’s Aviation Infrastructure
8. The Organisational Re-design Canada’s Aviation Infrastructure of With fewer than thirty million people occupying one fifteenth of the planet’s landmass, Canada has been heavily reliant on transport systems to forge its widely dispersed regional communities into an inter-provincial common market and nation state. Much of the 12 per cent of GDP spent on building Canada’s transport system has passed through the public portals. Until the late 198Os, the federal government owned the dominant domestic air carrier, the air navigational system and the airports, and it managed them through a central planning agency located within Transport Canada. By the end of the following decade, however, the air navigational system had been privatised and the federal government had devolved the operation of the airports onto local authorities. Privatisation, deregulation, commercialisation and contracting-out amounted to a complete re-design of Canada’s aviation infrastructure. The replacement of the system of co-ordination by command and control with a decentralised, competitive system, entailing market incentives, was a response to the constraints of government deficits the over-elaborate government-run system had cost the public too much money. Moreover, from the mid-eighties onwards, priorities had shifted away from pork-barrel politics. The advent of NAFTA demanded an efficient transportation system for North American exporters and importers alike. CANADA’S CENTRALLY-PLANNED AVIATION INFRASTRUCTURE As a major provider of long-distance passenger transportation for more than fifty years, the state-owned domestic civil aviation operation, by facilitating east-west social intercourse over long distances, had assisted greatly in the consolidation of the Canadian confederation. Aviation infrastructure...
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