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NATS and NAV CANADA trials of Aireon’s satellite-based ADS-B system to track aircraft flying through NAT oceanic airspace are starting to show significant potential benefits for their airline customers.
Satellite-based ADS-B technology is allowing the air navigation service providers to progress from the traditional, procedural form of control where aircraft report their position every 14 minutes, to one which is virtually real-time, with track updates every few seconds.
“That transformation means we’ve been able to begin reducing aircraft separations and for airlines to begin flying at the speed that best suits them,” said Andy Smith, NATS’ head of strategic oceanic engagement. “That’s in addition to the clear safety benefit of having real-time surveillance and conformance monitoring (i.e. knowing that an aircraft is complying with the clearance they’ve been issued), something we believe will significantly reduce the estimated risk of a collision.”