Flying the Caribbean Skies – The Need to Manage Airspace

Go Lean Commentary

“America First!”

These words are a constant declaration from the American President Donald J. Trump. According to the Wall Street Journal, they summarize President Trump as follows:

“Mr. Trump is a brash nationalist contemptuous of global institutions and wary of foreign entanglements”.

To this we say: “When someone tells you who they are, believe them”.

This assessment is very important for us in the Caribbean. The US is the 800-pound gorilla in our neighborhood; they can go and stop anywhere they choose in this hemisphere. They will always be seeking American Self-Interest first, so do not think that the US may be putting their foreign neighbors first, especially us in the Caribbean. This assessment is also true when it comes to managing the Caribbean Airspace; if we leave it up to the US, we will always find ourselves subservient and in second place. So what do we do or have been doing? Leaving it up for the US to manage the Caribbean air traffic control has placed us in a secondary priority, even here in our own countries.

This is the focus of this series of commentaries on Flying the Caribbean Skies. This entry is 3 of 3 in this series from the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean in consideration of societal defects in the region’s management of air travel. There is a need for Caribbean people to adopt a policy of Caribbean First when it comes to managing the Airspace in our own territory. There is a lot that needs to be done and it might mean “life and death”. The other commentaries in the series are cataloged as follows:

  1. Flying the Caribbean Skies: New Regional Options
  2. Flying the Caribbean Skies: ‘Shooting Ourselves in the Foot’ – ENCORE
  3. Flying the Caribbean Skies: The Need to Manage Airspace

All of these commentaries relate to “how” the stewards for a new Caribbean can empower regional commerce by optimizing the air travel eco-system, and the dependent industries. In truth, the Go Lean book asserts that a Caribbean First policy is needed to reboot all societal engines: economics, security and governance. Yet, the record clearly shows that despite the clear role model and cautionary warnings, the Caribbean member-states have operated as parasites of the American hegemony rather than protégés.

This indictment is especially evident in the matter of Air Traffic Control. (See the importance in the Appendix VIDEO below).

This was a source of concern in the motivation for the Go Lean book. The book – available to download for free – serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of the full Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap addresses all societal engines and has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The topic of Air Traffic Control (ATC) overlaps economics (transportation solutions facilitate commerce), security and governance. Currently, there is a separation-of-powers in which many Caribbean member-states delegate their Air Traffic Control functionality to the American FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). So Caribbean aviators have to pay a fee to the US authorities. The quest here is to bring this ATC functionality back “home”, but to CU federal authorities. See this summary here from the book (Page 205):

Aviation Coordination, Promotion and Safety Regulations
The CU mandate is to facilitate the region’s economics through transportation solutions. Aviation plays a key role, and so there is the need for regional coordination and promotion of the region’s domestic and foreign air carriers. The CU will execute these functions along with Air Traffic Control and Safety regulations, thus mirroring both the FAA & National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the US. The CU will be vested with subpoena and prosecutorial powers.

This need – to bring the ATC functionality home – has been vocalized in the Caribbean region. See here, a related news-article originated out of the Bahamas:

Title: Government ‘Aggressively’ Moving On Airspace Control Takeover


The Minister of Tourism and Aviation yesterday said the Government is “aggressively” moving to establish Bahamian airspace via a Flight Information Region (FIR).

The former Christie administration last January hailed as a “landmark accomplishment” its agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which will result in Bahamian aircraft operators no longer having to pay overflight fees to the US for domestic flights.

Dionisio D’Aguilar, though, said the previous government’s achievement was not as big as it had been made out to be.

“I don’t know what their landmark airspace deal was. All they did was get a concession for Bahamian airline companies to fly through Bahamian airspace and not pay a fee to do so,” he argued. “The Government is very aggressively pursuing the establishment of what is the Bahamian airspace, and I’m hoping that in the next six months we can be in a position where we can say this is our airspace.

“We can also hopefully begin the process of earning revenue from it, and also putting in a safety regime so that over time we can take control of our airspace and hire Bahamians to manage it.

“Right now the vast majority of our airspace is being managed by the Federal Aviation Administration. It’s a tedious and tiresome process, but I think we are close.”

Under international laws, countries require airlines and other aircraft to pay a fee for the right to fly over their airspace.

The administration of those rights in the Bahamas has been performed by the FAA since 1952, meaning Bahamasair and other Bahamian-owned carriers have had to pay the US for the privilege of flying over their own country.

Source: Posted January 17, 2018; retrieved April 22, 2018 from:

QQQ Just because the US is the “800-pound gorilla” in North America does not mean that they execute all regional administration in the most efficient and effective manner. In fact, this commentary has cited numerous American defects, such as dysfunctions with guns, school-shootings and Police-on-Black shootings. So the American way is not always the best way.

In fact, the US’s footprint for ATC, the FAA, is not known for embracing the latest cutting edge technologies. Consider this encyclopedic reference here:

Many technologies are used in air traffic control systems. Primary and secondary radar are used to enhance a controller’s situation awareness within his assigned airspace – all types of aircraft send back primary echoes of varying sizes to controllers’ screens as radar energy is bounced off their skins, and transponder-equipped aircraft reply to secondary radar interrogations by giving an ID (Mode A), an altitude (Mode C) and/or a unique callsign (Mode S). Certain types of weather may also register on the radar screen.

These inputs, added to data from other radars, are correlated to build the air situation. Some basic processing occurs on the radar tracks, such as calculating ground speed and magnetic headings.

Usually, a flight data processing system manages all the flight plan related data, incorporating – in a low or high degree – the information of the track once the correlation between them (flight plan and track) is established. All this information is distributed to modern operational display systems, making it available to controllers.

The FAA has spent over US$3 billion on software, but a fully automated system is still over the horizon. In 2002 the UK brought a new area control centre into service at the London Area Control Centre, Swanwick, Hampshire, relieving a busy suburban centre at West Drayton, Middlesex, north of London Heathrow Airport. Software from Lockheed-Martin predominates at the London Area Control Centre. However, the centre was initially troubled by software and communications problems causing delays and occasional shutdowns.[9]Wikipedia.

In summary, with the smart application of technology and best-practices, a technocratic CU will be able to do “more with less”.

How about the US Territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands?

One reason that the FAA manages the Airspace for many Caribbean member-states is because the FAA has the responsibility for these two territories. But the American stakeholders have a long history of “playing nice” with other Airspace domains – think: US Air Force and Naval bases in foreign countries, plus Canada and Mexico in North America.

The Airspace management for Puerto Rico and the USVI can legally be delegated to the CU.

There is also a movement to privatize or corporatize ATC’s. Proponents argue that moving ATC services to a private corporation could stabilize funding over the long term which will result in more predictable planning and rollout of new technology as well as training of personnel. This is the case in Canada[21]:

The Canadian system is the one most often used as a model by proponents of privatization. A privatization has been successful in Canada with the creation of Nav Canada, a private nonprofit organization which has reduced costs and has allowed new technologies to be deployed faster due to the elimination of much of the bureaucratic red tape. This has resulted in shorter flights and less fuel usage. It has also resulted in flights being safer due to new technology. Nav Canada is funded from fees that are collected from the airlines based on the weight of the aircraft and the distance flown.

The CU’s ATC effort – and other governing initiatives – is therefore proposed to reflect the cutting edge of operational best-practices. This is the nature of a technocracy! The Caribbean needs better governance and better Airspace management. This could enhance our economic lifeblood (better air travel eco-system means more air arrivals, more stay-overs, more hotels nights, restaurants, taxi cabs, etc.) and also affect life-and-death, as related to air traffic security. This is how we reform and transform Caribbean society.

The Go Lean roadmap originated to improve regional governance. This was pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation … for good governance …

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiii. Whereas many countries in our region are dependent Overseas Territory of imperial powers, the systems of governance can be instituted on a regional and local basis, rather than requiring oversight or accountability from distant masters far removed from their subjects of administration. The Federation must facilitate success in autonomous rule by sharing tools, systems and teamwork within the geographical region.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform our societal engines. The book details how society can be elevated by optimizing Airspace regulation, Air Traffic coordination and Air Safety.

This will help in our quest … to make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix VIDEO – A Typical Day in America’s Airspace –

NASA Video

Published on May 20, 2013 – This series of simulations created using NASA’s FACET software shows the pattern of air traffic over the continental United States at various times, including Sept 11, 2001. It illustrates just how complex our air transportation system is and how challenging it is to make changes. This series was created several years ago with the National Air & Space Museum and continues to play at the “America by Air” exhibit in the museum on the Mall.


Share this post:
, , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *