Home > Home > Media > Global tracking service will provide location of aircraft in emergency situations

Global tracking service will provide location of aircraft in emergency situations

(Ottawa, September 22, 2014) – NAV CANADA today announced a plan by Aireon LLC to provide a global emergency tracking solution that will be available free of charge for all automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) equipped aircraft. The Aireon Aircraft Locating and Emergency Response Tracking (Aireon ALERT) service will allow rescue agencies to request the location and last flight track of any suitably equipped aircraft flying in airspace currently without surveillance.

“The existing gaps in surveillance, particularly in cases of lost aircraft, became abundantly clear this past year,” said John Crichton, President and CEO of NAV CANADA. “The tragic disappearance of flight MH370 prompted a worldwide urgency to look for solutions. Aireon’s response amounts to a global public service offering Aireon ALERT universally and on a no-fee basis.”

“AireonSM is being deployed to improve the efficiency and safety of aircraft operations in oceanic and unsurveilled airspace,” said Don Thoma, President and CEO, Aireon. “The same technology behind these efficiency and safety gains can make a significant difference in providing quick, accurate information in emergency situations. With one global view of ADS-B equipped aircraft, Aireon ALERT will provide accurate and real-time tracking data immediately to authorized search and rescue operations, without requiring airlines to equip aircraft with new avionics or the ANSPs (air navigation service providers) and authorities to deploy new systems.”

Aireon is deploying a global space-based ADS-B surveillance capability providing direct tracking of remote and oceanic flights, focused on improving the efficiency and safety of aircraft operations. When Aireon is fully operational, anticipated for 2017, it will create a powerful platform capable of tracking ADS-B equipped aircraft around the globe in real-time.

The Aireon ALERT service will be available soon after Aireon’s full deployment and will be provided through a 24/7 application and emergency call center. Historical track data will be available to authorized users through Aireon ALERT soon after controller communications are lost with an aircraft, and the system can also provide real-time tracking of aircraft in distress, provided ADS-B transmissions are still operational.

“We anticipate support from the world’s airlines for the approach taken by Aireon for emergency tracking,” said Crichton. “Airlines already stand to gain over $125 million per year in fuel savings in the North Atlantic alone by using Aireon’s space-based surveillance service. The Aireon ALERT public service offers an additional benefit, free of charge, ensuring that ADS-B equipped aircraft can be tracked anywhere in the world, even in airspace managed by ANSPs that have not subscribed to the Aireon service.”

For more information about the Aireon ALERT service, go to www.aireon.com/ALERT.

Aireon is a joint venture among Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: IRDM), NAV CANADA, ENAV, IAA, and Naviair, established to launch the Aireon system by hosting ADS-B receiver payloads on Iridium NEXT, Iridium’s second-generation satellite constellation, scheduled for first launch in 2015 and completion in 2017.

NAV CANADA is the country’s private sector civil air navigation services provider. With operations from coast to coast to coast, NAV CANADA provides air traffic control, flight information, weather briefings, aeronautical information services, airport advisory services and electronic aids to navigation.

For further information, please contact:

Michelle Bishop
Director, Government and Public Affairs
(613) 563-7520

Ron Singer
Manager, Media Relations
(613) 563-7303

Media Information Line: 1-888-562-8226