The Canadian Positioning, Navigation and Timing Board (PNTB)

Decorative image depicting various uses of PNT/GNSS technology, spread out over a map of Canada.
What is the Canadian PNTB?

The Canadian Positioning, Navigation and Timing Board ( PNTB ) is made up of subject matter experts and executives from the Government of Canada and Canada’s air navigation service provider who have a shared interest in satellite-based positioning, navigation and timing.

The PNTB was established in 2011 to serve as a central point of contact for the coordination of civilian (non-military/defence) positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) issues at the federal level. As well, the PNTB is the central body for the exchange of information with foreign governments and organizations on civilian PNT matters.

Did you know?

The Canadian PNTB was previously known as the Federal Global Navigation Satellite Systems Coordination Board, or FGCB.

What is PNT?

PNT stands for positioning, navigation and timing. PNT information is used:

  • to understand where we are on the surface of the earth (positioning)
  • to determine how to get where we need to go (navigation)
  • to synchronize networks, or for time stamping (timing)

Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) are used extensively for providing this precise PNT information.

Did you know?

Global navigation satellite systems include:

  • GPS (United States)
  • GLONASS (Russia)
  • Galileo (European Union)
  • BeiDou (China)
Where is GNSS-based PNT data used?

GNSS technology supplying PNT data can be found almost everywhere. It is used in consumer products, such as cellphones and smartwatches. Canadian industries, including surveying, mapping, farming, mining and road construction, use GNSS to enable greater functionality and improve productivity. Scientific applications leverage the data from GNSS for weather forecasting, earthquake monitoring and sea level measurements.

Many functions within Canada’s critical infrastructure sectors are also dependent on GNSS. For example, the timing component of GNSS is key for the telecommunications, financial and energy sectors, while the transportation sector is heavily reliant on positioning and navigation to improve efficiency and for safety.

GNSS-based technologies have become deeply embedded in today’s world and critical to both innovation and the safety of Canadians. Technological advances in GNSS have created new opportunities, new dependencies, and new risks, necessitating a collaborative approach within the federal government.

What is the Canadian PNTB’s mission?

The Canadian PNTB’s mission is to bring government, industry and academia together to share, collaborate and foster greater PNT knowledge, promoting resilient uses and supporting Canada’s economic growth.


We welcome input from other Government of Canada departments and agencies, industry, academia and Canadians.

To contact the Canadian PNTB, or for more information, please email

  • providing high-accuracy location information
  • finding your way from one position to another
  • supplying highly accurate time to synchronize distributed systems