NAV CANADA plans $100m Aireon dividend

The decision by the private sector company responsible for Canadian air traffic control to help develop advanced space-based aircraft tracking, reckons that the move will generate over $100m in customer fuel savings on North Atlantic routes.

NAV CANADA intends to be a partner in Aireon – the planned joint venture whose mandate is to provide revolutionary global satellite-based tracking capability for air navigation service providers – along with Iridium Communications with support from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and suppliers Harris Corporation and ITT Exelis

Global aircraft tracking capability will be supplied through Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) receivers built into Iridium NEXT, the second generation satellite constellation to be launched by Iridium in the 2015-2017 period

NAV CANADA also intends to participate in Aireon as its first customer, aiming to deploy this new satellite-based surveillance capability in its North Atlantic airspace operations, most of which is without surveillance today.

“Together with our employees and customers, NAV CANADA is very much looking forward to being a part of this once-in-a lifetime opportunity,” said John Crichton, President & CEO of NAV CANADA. “We understand the challenges faced by air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and airlines around the world. Our joint efforts through Aireon are aimed to improve both safety and flight efficiency, while contributing to a greener environment.”

Crichton noted that as a future customer, NAV CANADA is well placed to take advantage of the benefits that Aireon will offer, based on the experience and expertise of NAV CANADA people in providing air traffic services over the North Atlantic, the busiest oceanic airspace in the world and the largest by traffic volume.

In his remarks at the news conference held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., announcing the formation of the Aireon joint venture, Crichton noted that NAV CANADA manages the second largest air navigation service in the world by traffic volume, next to the FAA. In its North Atlantic operation, the company co-operates with other air traffic service providers such as the FAA and NATS in the UK.

“In addition to the North Atlantic, we also manage traffic throughout the remote northern regions of Canada and the Arctic Ocean, so innovation delivered through Aireon is a big deal for us,” Crichton said. “We know first hand how important it is to find a solution that covers areas that are not reachable through current land-based systems.”

NAV CANADA and other ANSPs around the world have been working for years to find ways to improve efficiency and service for oceanic and remote air travel, and to increase capacity. The company recently upgraded its oceanic air traffic system, and expanded the reach of its aircraft tracking through land-based ADS-B systems covering the airspace over Hudson Bay, the Eastern Arctic and Greenland.

“Customers are seeing big benefits from this effort, and the work of other ANSPs around the world, in terms of fuel savings and reduced emissions through the use of improved routes and altitudes,” Crichton said. “This work will continue, but we all know much more can and must be done.”

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