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IAA Joins with Canada, Italy and Denmark to Provide Space-Based Air Traffic Control

8 January 2014

20 December 2013:  The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is delighted to announce that it is to participate in Aireon LLC, a revolutionary space-based air traffic surveillance venture. In this new deal announced today, the IAA will take a 6% stake in the company. Involvement in Aireon offers the IAA the potential to enter the global market for the provision of air traffic management services and will allow it to greatly enhance the services it provides to its airline customers. 

The IAA will be one of five partners involved in this $400 million cutting edge technological partnership, including Iridium (USA) and the air navigation service providers NAV CANADA (Canada), ENAV (Italy) and Naviair (Denmark). 

The Aireon system uses Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) technology installed on a network of 66 “Iridium NEXT” satellites to receive and send aircraft positional tracking data, making it possible to extend next-generation coverage across the entire planet and will constitute the first truly global air transport traffic management and surveillance system. With this technology, air traffic control services can be provided in nearly all parts of the globe from Ireland. It is a technological step change which will offer airlines significant fuel savings and fuel efficiencies of €100 million on the North Atlantic alone. 

“Aireon represents the future of air traffic surveillance. This supports our focus to deliver safe, innovative and cost-effective air navigation services to our customer on a global scale. Providing airlines with the most optimal trajectories and ensuring that they fly safely through our skies is paramount to our mission as a world class air navigation service provider,” said Eamonn Brennan, Chief Executive, IAA. “Aireon will deliver significant benefits to airlines flying in remote and oceanic airspace all around the world. By joining together with Canada, Italy and Denmark, we are creating a network of partners that understand the importance of satellite based air traffic control and the benefits to every flight path across the planet.” 

The Iridium NEXT satellites will be launched in 2015, with the Aireon surveillance service being available to ANSPs in 2018. 

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