Startical, the company created by Indra and ENAIRE for the development of a satellite project, will be in a position to use the aeronautical frequency band, whose exploitation from space has been authorized to provide VHF communications services (voice and data) and surveillance for air traffic management. This will constitute a highly important step in the development of the Startical project.
On December 15, 2023, the Plenary Session of the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23) approved a new allocation to the AMS(R)S (aeronautical mobile-satellite (R) service) on the VHF aeronautical band (117.975 - 137 MHz). This decision is extremely significant and historic because it will pave the way for new developments and projects while optimizing air traffic control.
This new development will deliver global air traffic management coverage to remote oceanic and continental areas and serve as backup for continental areas with ground station-based surveillance coverage. This globalization will be key to reducing aircraft separation, optimizing aeronautical routes by reducing separation standards and CO2 emission levels and increasing efficiency and capacity, while reinforcing the required level of operational safety.
With this allocation, the Startical project will take a firm step towards the modernization of air traffic control infrastructure in areas without communications and surveillance coverage that use conventional radar systems.
This authorization has been obtained after four years of hard work at the ITU, where Startical (ENAIRE and Indra) has been an important driver and a main contributor to the technical feasibility, compatibility and interoperability studies of this service from space with the current ground services, with the contribution of the services of the Radio Spectrum Planning and Management at Secretariat of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures to the regulatory procedures and aspects.
In the words of Juan Enrique González Laguna, CEO of Startical, “this is a fundamental milestone that will facilitate Startical’s business model, the result of huge efforts made in record time. It’s a success story that opens the door to further development of the Startical project.”