ESSP (European Satellite Services Provider) has become the first pan-European company certified as a Communications Service Provider from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The news comes just weeks after Viasat/Inmarsat and ESSP signed a long-term contract with ESSP as the Service Provider for Iris datalink services, powered by Viasat’s SwiftBroadband Safety (SB-S) connectivity.
Led by the European Space Agency (ESA), Iris enables aircraft to fly more fuel-efficient routes by providing digital satellite communications to complement VHF data link, which is nearing a capacity crunch in congested airspace. By digitally connecting the ATM ecosystem, it enhances collaboration between pilots and air traffic controllers to maximise the use of airspace and reduce the impact of disruptions for passengers, while decreasing emissions through 4D Trajectory-Based Operations.
EASA has certified ESSP as a pan-European Communication Services Provider for data link services based on IRIS. The investigation activities were conducted by a team from ATM Oversight Section and took more than 18 months, including the execution of 4 audits at ESSP SAS and Inmarsat premises, to establish compliance with the applicable regulation and associated industrial standards for datalink services. A Service Definition Document (SDD) was prepared by ESSP SAS to describe the intended IRIS communication services, including, among others, the target performance requirements, limitations and conditions of usage and service liability.
Charlotte Neyret, CEO of ESSP, said: “The EASA certification speaks volumes to the high quality of ESSP’s processes and the Iris service, and provides the backing of trust for those relying on this data for their services. We are looking forward to our long-lasting relationship with EASA to support their goal for safe and more efficient skies.”
Joel Klooster, Senior Vice President of Airline Operations and Safety, Viasat, said: “Today’s news continues the positive momentum that Iris continues to build as a trusted and future proofed datalink solution to Europe’s busy and congested airspace. It’s great news for ANSPs and airlines that our partner and Iris service provider ESSP is now certified by EASA.”
Iris will enter commercial and operational service fully in Europe next year with airlines including easyJet and ITA Airways, supporting the Single European Sky’s ATM Research (SESAR) masterplan.
ESSP will operate, provide, and lead the Iris service commercialization to European Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP’s).
The ESSP SAS consortium for the service provision is composed of ESSP SAS, Inmarsat and SITA. The addition of other Communication Network Providers (CNPs) such as NewPENS and Collins Aerospace is expected in the coming months.
Today’s news marks an important milestone for ESSP, becoming the only company to have gained pan-European certification from EASA for both satellite communications and satellite-based navigation services.