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Our History

Canada's history of air traffic control began in 1936.

The history of air traffic control (ATC) in Canada began with the creation of the Department of Transport under the Transport Act of 1936.​

The system was formally inaugurated with the commissioning of the St. Hubert, Quebec control tower in 1939.

Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver Towers were opened in 1940, followed by Edmonton and Winnipeg in 1941, and Dorval Tower in 1942.

The opening of many new Towers led to the creation of a national training initiative. The initial Air Traffic Controller training program produced its first licensed graduates in 1940.

Controllers soon realized that the growth of aviation was continually outpacing the ATC system. Determined to obtain recognition of individual work responsibility within a progressive industry, the Air Traffic Controllers organized themselves into an Association in early 1959.

The Canadian Air Traffic Control Association (CATCA) was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1962, aimed at promoting the safety and efficiency of the system and the well-being of its members.

Since 1962, we have been working to create the best working environment for Air Traffic Controllers. We have evolved over the years and our members have also changed. We now represent approximately 2,000 Air Traffic Controllers from three Canadian employers.