Aireon signs agreement with Iceland for space-based ADS-B

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Aireon space-based ADS-BAireon has signed a data services agreement with Isavia, the Icelandic Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) for its space-based ADS-B service.

Isavia will deploy Aireon’s space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) service throughout the Reykjavik Oceanic Control Area (OCA).

In addition to providing enhanced redundancy to existing terrestrial surveillance resources in the southern part of the airspace, the Aireon service will provide real-time surveillance and tracking in the region extending from 70 degrees north to the North Pole.

With control of more than 5.4 million square kilometres of airspace, Isavia is looking to improve safety and efficiency (through reduced separation) of operations by expanding the ADS-B service area.

Aireon technology

Continuity of service will be enhanced through use of Aireon’s technology in airspace where line-of-sight surveillance is already.

Asgeir Palsson director, Air Navigation Services, Isavia, said: “Aireon is already working with our colleagues at NAV CANADA and UK NATS to introduce this capability for oceanic crossings in the North Atlantic.

“We had initially signed a memorandum of agreement to ensure the benefits would be realised, not only with safety, but also efficiency.

“The benefits speak for themselves, and we are working closely with our North Atlantic neighbours. We anticipate optimising the 160,000 flights that use our airspace every year.”


Isavia’s northerly location makes it a key player in the North Atlantic (NAT) region bordering Gander Oceanic Flight Information Region (FIR), controlled by NAV CANADA, and Shanwick Oceanic FIR, controlled by NATS, to the south, and Bodo Oceanic and Murmansk FIRs in the northern part.

Space-based ADS-B will give participating ANSPs 100 percent, real-time coverage. Isavia will also be conducting flight trials in polar airspace north of 70 degrees to evaluate the expected benefits of surveillance in polar airspace.

Panasonic Avionics says it has been providing tracking over the poles via Iridium for some time with Icelandair as a customer.

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Cyriel Kronenburg, Vice President, Aviation Services, Aireon, said: “Isavia, given their location, have a strategic mission to utilize the most advanced technology. Not only will they use Aireon for increasing safety, but they will also use it as a contingency source of surveillance to add an extra layer to their robust series of cutting-edge technologies.

“We will also be working closely with Isavia to test the impact of real-time surveillance in the North Pole. Isavia will soon have the ability to track a flight across the entire polar region, in real-time.


Iridium has partnered with SpaceX for a series of seven launches over the course of 18 months out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. All 81 Iridium NEXT satellites are equipped with the Aireon payload.

Once in orbit, each satellite will undergo extensive testing by the Iridium team. After approximately 40-60 days Iridium will hand-off the ADS-B payloads to Aireon for verification of on-orbit technical specifications.

Aireon will then conduct rigorous independent testing and validation of the space-based ADS-B system for approximately 60 days.

As part of this testing and validation process, Aireon’s ADS-B receivers, which were manufactured by Harris Corporation, will provide air traffic surveillance data through the Aireon network to the Service Delivery Points (SDPs).

The network will also provide a new service known as Aireon ALERT, a free global emergency-aircraft tracking service that will be hosted and operated by the IAA.

Earlier this year, Aireon also announced a partnership with FlightAware, and together launched the GlobalBeacon flight tracking service.

GlobalBeacon is designed to help airlines comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS) requirements, and will provide airlines with minute-by-minute flight tracking data.

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