Airways New Zealand, New Zealand’s Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) and Aireon LLC announced today that they have signed an agreement in principle to enter into an operational validation trial.
This agreement will pave the way to a formal operational validation agreement allowing for the development of operational concepts for air traffic management in South Pacific airspace and long-range flow management procedures to major New Zealand destinations. These operational concepts will be based on the use of space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data to leverage the efficiency and safety benefits of a global air traffic surveillance capability.
This agreement comes 20 months after the execution of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Aireon and Airways to execute a benefits analysis for deploying space-based ADS-B in their region. Airways also plans to use Aireon data to determine the best configuration of planned terrestrial-based ADSB installations, augmented with space-based ADS-B, to ensure the most cost-effective use of the designated infrastructure.
Airways chief executive officer Ed Sims says Airways is excited to be exploring the possibilities of this new capability. “Once we have completed the formal agreement we will, over the next three years, work with Aireon to investigate how satellite-based surveillance could enhance our air traffic management services in the South Pacific airspace.
“We are looking forward to seeing how continuous monitoring via satellite could provide enhanced safety, traffic flow and efficiency benefits to our customers.”
“We are very excited about the developments with Airways,” said Don Thoma, chief executive officer, Aireon. “We have worked closely with Airways to determine the possible applicability of space-based ADSB in the South Pacific.” He added, “Airways is known for their strong desire to deliver value to their customers, and we look forward to taking the next step to assess the potential for deployment of spacebased ADS-B in their region.”
Aireon’s system will be operational in 2018, upon completion of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation. The service will provide ANSPs with global air traffic surveillance and airlines with real-time flight tracking. It is expected to help reduce fuel costs, increase safety, and enable more efficient flight paths.