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NAV Portugal goes operational with Aireon’s space-based ADS-B data

NAV Portugal has begun operational usage of Aireon’s space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data in its Santa Maria Flight Information Region (FIR), creating comprehensive visibility for the air navigation service provider of traffic flows between Europe and North and South America.

Aireon’s space-based ADS-B data stream, combined with NAV Portugal’s ground-based ADS-B, SSR radar and WAM systems already available across the Azores and Madeira archipelagos, will provide an improved situational awareness for the ANSP, much contributing for the improvement of the safety levels already made available to all aircraft navigating through its busy airspace. The area now covered by Aireon’s space-based ADS-B, was previously being managed by having Flight-Plan based tracks depicted on the ATCO’s CWP’s HMIs.

NAV Portugal operates 10 Towers and 2 Area Control Centers across its two FIRs – Lisboa and Santa Maria Oceanic. The Santa Maria FIR covers a total area of more than 5.1 million square kilometers and includes the Santa Maria Oceanic Control Centre and the Towers of the airports from the Azores archipelago and is a busy FIR for overflight traffic between Europe and the North, Central and South America. With the addition of space-based ADS-B surveillance in the Santa Maria FIR, now more than 75% of the Northern Atlantic airspace has real time surveillance of their air traffic, enhancing safety and offering more efficient air traffic services to airspace users.

“The Santa Maria FIR is a key piece of the trans-Atlantic air traffic picture, and NAV Portugal’s adoption of Aireon’s ADS-B data shows great leadership on behalf of the ANSP community to support and enhance safety and operational efficiency in the region,” said Peter Cabooter, Aireon Vice President of Customer Affairs.

“NAV Portugal is pleased to introduce such a relevant improvement in the surveillance systems supporting the air navigation services in the Santa Maria FIR. Our ATM system (SATL) used at the Oceanic Control Center in Santa Maria, it’s processing capacities and technological solutions have been evolving over the time to respond to the long-term North-Atlantic air traffic increase. After the introduction of ADS-C, later complemented by ground station sensors, the operational use of the ADS-B information received by satellites covering the entire Santa Maria FIR area now begins,” said Gonçalo Vale, Chief Financial Officer and Board Member of NAV Portugal.