Aireon, Isavia to explore space-based ADS-B surveillance over North Atlantic, polar regions

Aireon, developer of the world’s first space-based global air traffic surveillance system, has teamed with the Icelandic air navigation service provider (ANSP), Isavia to explore the implementation of space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) surveillance over the Reykjavik Flight Information Region (FIR) and the Reykjavik Oceanic Control Area (OCA).

Isavia is responsible for air traffic management services in most of the upper airspace of the Sondrestrom – Greenland FIR as well as their domestic airspace in Iceland. With control of more than 5.4 million sq km of airspace, Isavia is looking to improve safety and increase fuel efficiency for flight operations. With the implementation of space-based surveillance, all ADS-B equipped aircraft will be visible to air traffic control, including over polar and oceanic airspace, where current surveillance is limited or does not exist.

According to Asgeir Palsson director ANS, Isavia: “Aireon is already working with our colleagues at NAV CANADA and UK NATS to introduce this capability for oceanic crossings in the North Atlantic. With the addition of Isavia, we will optimise flights for the 140,000 flights that use our airspace every year. We are eager to collaborate with Aireon and look forward to the global operational deployment in 2018.”

“The Icelandic airspace is an integral part of North Atlantic operations,” said Cyriel Kronenburg, vice president, sales and marketing, Aireon. “We will work with Isavia to deploy a system providing full coverage of their surveillance area, which includes a large part of the polar region, and will look to assist them in improving service to a growing number of airlines crossing there. Our system will allow for enhanced safety, improved operations and lowered fuel consumption.”

Isavia joins a growing list of ANSPs who are exploring the use of Aireon’s space-based ADS-B surveillance system. Aireon is working with UK NATS, South Africa’s Air Traffic and Navigation Services, the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar, Airports Authority of India, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Blue Med Functional Airspace Block, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Airways New Zealand and NAV Portugal.

Aireon recently announced that its investor and partner, Iridium Communications Inc., has completed the first successful integration of the AireonSM payload on an Iridium NEXT satellite. This is a key technical milestone toward the first launch of Iridium NEXT and the first demonstration of the Aireon air traffic surveillance capability. Iridium NEXT is scheduled to launch between 2015 and 2017, with full Aireon service expected to be available in 2018.

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