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For the first time, Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) will be able to use a 100 percent global air traffic surveillance system through Aireon’s space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology. The Aireon system will perform in a way similar to ground-based ADS-B networks and integrate seamlessly into existing air traffic management automation platforms.

Through the Aireon service, worldwide airspace will have air traffic surveillance capabilities for ADS-B equipped aircraft without requiring ANSP investments in ground-based infrastructure.

As a result, air traffic controllers, airlines, regulators and all aviation stakeholders will no longer have blind spots in Flight Information Regions (FIRs), enabling all ADS-B equipped aircraft to be monitored, in real-time, no matter where they are. Additionally, Aireon’s space-based system can act as an added layer of surveillance, providing redundancy across all FIRs.

This groundbreaking technology will improve safety, efficiency, predictability and capacity while reducing overall infrastructure costs.

Benefit One

Increase Safety

With the emergence of Aireon, every airspace in the world will have access to 100 percent global air traffic surveillance. To deploy this capability, ANSPs won’t require heavy investments in ground-based infrastructure. Aireon fills the existing coverage gaps, providing real-time surveillance of ADS-B equipped aircraft to the 70 percent of global airspace without it today, in addition to acting as an auxiliary and secondary layer of surveillance, where ground-based systems exist.

Space-based ADS-B will generate immense safety benefits, including increased situational awareness of all air traffic control sectors and FIRs, improved harmonization of cross-border operations, a reduction in controller response times to abnormal situations and a greatly enhanced search and rescue response throughout the world.

By having continuous, real-time air traffic surveillance, aviation stakeholders will have:

  • Improved controller situational awareness through 100 percent surveillance in all sectors, FIRs and across FIR boundaries
  • Elimination of service and safety gaps with limited to no current air traffic surveillance
  • Reduced controller response time to abnormal situations and gross navigation errors
  • Improved search and rescue response
  • Minimization of impact from operational and weather disruptions
  • Reduced risk of data loss through enhanced and continuous surveillance
  • Reduced risk of loss of separation
  • Early detection of emergency transponder codes (in current procedural airspace)

Benefit Two

Enhance Efficiency

Aireon’s space-based ADS-B service provides ANSPs with complete, real-time air traffic surveillance of all ADS-B equipped aircraft in their airspace, which enables airlines to improve operational efficiency by optimizing flight paths, routes and tracks, saving significant amounts of fuel and increasing safety everywhere in the world.

Additionally, improved predictability and efficiency could reduce direct operating costs and optimize passenger flight times.

Space-based ADS-B will increase efficiency for aviation stakeholders by:

  • Reducing oceanic separation, without compromising safety
  • Fewer ADS-B interruptions due to maintenance, weather and system outages
  • Improving traffic flow across borders
  • Real-time surveillance over oceanic and remote airspace enables:
    • Improved flight profile predictability
    • Fewer altitude and speed restrictions
    • Optimized tracks and flight distance
    • Improved flight profiles for best times
    • Enhanced air traffic flow management capabilities

Benefit Three

Expand Capacity

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast, the world is expected to see 7.2 billion passengers travel in 2035, nearly doubling the number air travelers in 2016.

As air traffic demand increases year over year, the consequent strain on global aviation capacity also increases, particularly in areas of the world where current infrastructure is limited or already at capacity. Aireon’s space-based ADS-B system will be able to significantly improve air traffic capacity, everywhere on the planet.

Space-based ADS-B is able to support consistent separation standards, that can be applied across airspace, enabling capacity increases in all regions. By being able to fly aircraft closer together, safely, ANSPs can have more aircraft in the sky, regardless of terrain, location or infrastructure.

For much of the world, where there is currently no air traffic surveillance, ANSPs are requiring large separation between aircraft to maintain safety goals. Space-based ADS-B will enable separation standard reductions along routes, allowing for greater operational efficiently, while maintaining stringent safety standards.

By having continuous, real-time air traffic surveillance, aviation stakeholders will be able to increase capacity with:

  • User Preferred Routes
  • Wind Optimal Routes
  • Flexible Use of Airspace
  • Tactical Control, where procedural control was used
  • More efficient air traffic Flow Management, through visibility into sectors boundaries air traffic and neighboring airspace
  • Harmonization of next generation surveillance standards around the world

Benefit Four

Lower Costs

The Aireon system’s ability to provide global, real-time surveillance means that ANSPs across the globe will incur little to no ground-based infrastructure costs. The system simply requires a Service Delivery Point (SDP).

Aireon’s system will integrate seamlessly into current automation platforms and will be treated as any other layer of surveillance. Optically, there may not even be a greater difference other than displaying more aircraft as “surveillance identified.”

Space-based ADS-B will reduce costs by:

  • Lowering infrastructure costs by reducing the need for redundant and expensive legacy surveillance
  • Enabling ANSPs to meet future ADS-B surveillance demands without major ground-based investments
  • Decrease radar/ADS-B replacement and maintenance costs in remote areas
  • Expanding benefits of surveillance over oceans and remote land without new avionics
  • Integrating contingency surveillance, allowing for improved system predictability
  • Lower fuel consumption by creating more efficient and direct flight paths

Benefit Five

Improve Predictability

A number of factors affect the predictability of on-time arrivals and departures for aircraft, including weather impact and the ability to enable and then ensure optimal routing. Each of these factors directly correlates with the location of an aircraft at any given time, along with its identification, velocity and altitude – all of which are broadcast via the aircraft’s ADS-B transponder.

In areas without real-time surveillance, air traffic controllers make their best estimate, based on a time, speed and altitude system, regarding the approximate location of an aircraft. This can lead to a gap in the actual location or even arrival time of an aircraft versus the predicted location or arrival time. By filling the gap in coverage, that gap in predictability will also disappear.

By enabling optimal routing, aircraft can fly more efficient routes, catching better tail winds with air traffic controllers maintaining complete awareness of the predicted flight path.

Space-based ADS-B will improve predictability by:

  • Enabling air traffic controllers to provide optimal routing of aircraft from departure to arrival
  • Enabling air traffic controllers to effectively adjust flight paths to the most efficient route that avoids weather or other world events
  • Increase the ability for air traffic controllers to accurately assess the arrival time of aircraft from destinations overseas or remote areas
  • Fly user-preferred routes, altitudes and speeds