What safety benefits does Aireon’s space-based ADS-B service enable?
Aireon’s space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) service extends air traffic surveillance over oceans, mountains, remote areas, polar regions and areas that otherwise lack real-time surveillance coverage. In addition to more efficient Air Traffic Management (ATM), this service generates immense safety benefits including increased situational awareness of all air traffic control sectors, improved harmonization of cross-border operations, a reduction in air traffic control response times to abnormal situations, and enhanced search and rescue response throughout the world. The environmental dividends brought about through optimization of direct routings and preferred flight levels will collectively off-set the carbon footprint associated with air travel benefiting all.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Separation and Airspace Safety Panel (SASP) developed new separation standards to coincide with the deployment of Aireon’s space-based ADS-B surveillance service, that allows Air Traffic Control (ATC) to safely reduce separation between aircraft in areas where Very High Frequency (VHF) communication is not available. This is the first Controller Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC)/ADS-B separation standard in the world and is commonly referred to as Advanced Surveillance Enhanced Procedural Separation (ASEPS). Aireon’s global impact can support ATC tools such as Selected Flight Level (SFL), Selected Heading (SH), and independent validation of target accuracy for any jurisdiction choosing to utilize these tools.
Following extensive independent assessment, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) first certified Aireon’s space-based ADS-B surveillance service in May 2019 under approval reference EASA.AOA.TRD.010.
How will Aireon safely provide its space-based ADS-B service?
Safety is defined as “The state in which risks associated with aviation activities, related to, or in direct support of the operation of aircraft, are reduced and controlled to an acceptable level” in ICAO Safety Management Manual – Doc 9859, Fourth Edition-2018.
Aireon’s service is not just about the provision of ADS-B, but also encompasses how that data is monitored and assured as an operational entity, from the receiving antenna on the Aireon payload to delivery of data to the customer site. As an EASA certified service, Aireon ensures its organizational structure and operational procedures are designed and implemented to support Air Traffic Control Operations worldwide in real time.
Aireon recognizes that space-based ADS-B must be of the highest reliability and integrity to ensure no risks are introduced into a customer’s system. Any changes made to the Aireon system or service are performed in a coordinated and structured manner whilst maintaining safety of the operation at its core.
- A “Just and Fair Culture” in which Safety is a core value instilled in all its employees
- An integrated safety environment which is continuously monitored, and which proactively seeks to identify safety improvements
- An environment which facilitates self-reporting of hazard
- • Enhancement of the service received by its customers, deploying software upgrades that have no detrimental impact on their system
Aireon maintains its EASA Certification through:
- Continuous engagement with EASA in support of its various oversight activities (reviews of technical / safety change documentation; audits of Aireon’s SMS, etc.)
- Ensuring continuous compliance with the Service Provision Conditions stipulated within the approval Certificate, upon which its ongoing validity is based.
- Actively monitoring changes in applicable regulation and amending its safety management arrangements as needed to ensure continuing compliance.
Aireon has a growing list of customers and provides these organizations with seamless operational support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.