Successful third launch brings 10 more Aireon systems into orbit

13 October 2017

Aireon announced today the successful launch and deployment of the third batch of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites, carrying its space-based automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) payloads. 

Aireon is now well on its way to become the first to provide global, real-time air traffic surveillance and tracking to air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and aviation stakeholders. The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is a partner in Aireon along with other international air navigation service providers such as; NAV CANADA (Canada), ENAV (Italy) and Naviair (Denmark).

Conducted from Vandenberg Air Force Base, United States with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 5:37 a.m. PDT, (1:37 p.m. GMT) this launch has increased the total number of Aireon payloads in orbit to a total of 30, with another 45 destined for space in a series of five additional launches planned over the next ten months. 

An IAA spokesperson said; “This marks a significant and positive development for Aireon as we move towards completion by mid-2018. We are really pleased to be part of this game-changer technology as the Aireon system will enable the world’s first global real-time air traffic surveillance system which will provide coverage to oceanic, polar and remote regions, as well as augment existing systems in terrestrial airspace. Aireon will significantly improve efficiency, enhance safety, reduce emissions and provide cost savings benefits to all stakeholders.” 

The Aireon payloads from the first two launches, completed on January 14th and June 25th of 2017, have already demonstrated the ground-breaking capability to identify aircraft all over world, resulting in more than six billion ADS-B position reports being received in just seven months. 


About Irish Aviation Authority
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is a commercial semi-state company employing approximately 670 people at six main locations in Ireland. The Irish Aviation Authority promotes and regulates the safety of aviation in Ireland. The IAA is committed to developing and implementing effective strategies, regulatory frameworks and processes to ensure that aviation activities under our oversight achieve the highest practicable level of safety. The IAA is also responsible for the provision of Air Traffic Management (ATM) in Irish controlled airspace (covering some 451,000 square km) and State airports, aeronautical communications on the North Atlantic, and the security regulation of the civil aviation industry in Ireland.

About Aireon LLC
Aireon is deploying a space-based air traffic surveillance system for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipped aircraft throughout the entire globe. Aireon will harness next-generation aviation surveillance technologies that are currently ground-based and, for the first time ever, extend their reach globally to significantly improve efficiency, enhance safety, reduce emissions and provide cost savings benefits to all stakeholders. Real-time ADS-B surveillance will cover oceanic, polar and remote regions, as well as augment existing ground-based systems that are limited to terrestrial airspace. In partnership with leading ANSPs from around the world, like NAV CANADA, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), ENAV and Naviair, as well as Iridium Communications, Aireon will have an operational, global, space-based air traffic surveillance system by 2018. For more information about Aireon, visit



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